Men's Basketball - Wed, Nov. 23, 2005
CHICAGO - A lay-up by senior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) with 22 seconds remaining in regulation proved to be the difference as No. 16 Saint Xavier University pulled off the 74-73 win over NCAA Division I University of Illinois-Chicago (UIC) in men's basketball action Wednesday at the UIC Pavilion in Chicago. Reiter finished the game with 19 points, while freshman guard Jason Genova (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) led the Cougars with 20 points, including five three-pointers.
"Many people would see this score and think it's an upset, but our guys knew going into the game that they could play with UIC and they kept their composure and got the job done," said SXU head men's basketball coach Tom O'Malley. "This win is a credit to our players. We have a lot of young guys on this team who stepped up tonight. Both Jasons (Genova and Reiter) played well for us and for a freshman, like Jason (Genova), to have a game like this so early in his college career speaks volumes."
Sophomore Dan Bolger (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) also scored in double figures for the Cougars scoring 11 points. Reiter shot an impressive 7-for-11 from the field in the game, while Genova went 5-for-9 with all five of his baskets coming on three-pointers in the first half. As a team, Saint Xavier shot 52 percent (23-for-44) from the field in the game, including a 47 percent clip (8-for-17) from beyond the arc. UIC was led by freshman guard Josh Mayo with 18 points, while forwards Othyus Jeffers and Justin Bowen tacked on 17 apiece.
SXU led nearly the entire ballgame. Genova sank two three-pointers within the first two minutes of play to give the Cougars an early 6-0 advantage. UIC never led in the first half, but closed to within three, 24-21, with just under six minutes remaining before halftime. However, three-pointers by Genova and Reiter and key baskets down low by junior guard James Hoffmann (Orland Park, Ill./Sandburg) sparked a 17-8 run by Saint Xavier to close the first half.
With a 41-29 halftime lead, SXU kept the pressure on early in the second half keeping the double-digit lead in tact for the first eight minutes of play. However, the Flames crept back over the game's next seven minutes and, with 4:40 left in regulation, tied the score for the first time, 64-64. The lead changed six times over the remaining four minutes, but Reiter proved to be "Mr. Clutch" scoring SXU's final five points, including the game-winning lay-up with 22 seconds left to play.
Saint Xavier (5-2 overall) will host the four-team SXU Classic this weekend beginning on Friday, November 25. The Cougars open the event with a 6 p.m. match-up against East-West University (Ill.) followed by Olivet Nazarene (Ill.) versus Huntington (Ind.) at 8 p.m.