CHICAGO – Junior point guard Quinn Niego (Chicago, Ill./Brother Rice) led the way with 21 points and nine rebounds as the Saint Xavier University men's basketball team used a strong finish to put away Roosevelt University (Ill.) Saturday afternoon in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action at the Shannon Center in Chicago. With the score tied at 48-48 with eight minutes left to play in regulation, the Cougars (15-13 overall/10-8 CCAC) got hot at the right time closing out the game on a 21-7 run to secure the victory. A three-pointer by senior guard Kyle Huppe (Edgerton, Kan./Gardner Edgerton) sparked the surge. Huppe also had a nice game with 17 points and career-high six rebounds for SXU.
Sophomore guard Tyler Diehl (Carmel, Ind./Carroll University/University School) nearly notched a double-double with 14 points and nine rebounds. Freshman guard/forward Jack Brody (Lockport, Ill./UIndy/Providence Catholic) had a nice all-around effort as well for the Cougars with 11 points, eight rebounds, four assists and four steals. Saint Xavier was solid defensively holding the Lakers to just 33 percent (20-for-60) shooting from the floor and just 25 percent (8-for-32) from beyond the three-point arc. No starter for RU scored in double figures Saturday with the team's leading scorer, junior guard Carson Hughes, dropping 14 points off the bench.
SXU led most of the first half going ahead as many as 13 points (31-18) before settling for a 10-point halftime advantage, 33-23. The Lakers stormed back in the second half using a 15-3 run midway through the frame to tie the game at 48-48 with eight minutes remaining. However, Huppe's three-pointer changed the momentum sparking an 11-2 run that helped SXU pull away for good.
Saint Xavier (15-13 overall/10-8 CCAC) heads west to Davenport, Iowa, on Wednesday, February 15, for a conference road battle against Saint Ambrose University (Iowa). The game is slated for a 7:30 p.m. start at Lee Lohman Arena.