San Diego, Calif. - Despite a game-high 13 points by senior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont), the No. 16 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team fell to NCAA Division I San Diego State University (Calif.), 60-50, in exhibition play Thursday night at Cox Arena in San Diego, Calif. The Aztecs are the preseason favorites to win the Mountain West Conference this year.
Sophomore forward Dan Bolger (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) also had a nice outing for SXU in Thursday's exhibition connecting on four of his six field-goal attempts for 11 points, while also pulling down a game-high-tying eight rebounds. Senior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township West), a 2005 NAIA Second-Team All-American, drew a double-team most of the night and was limited to nine points and seven rebounds. Saint Xavier finished with 26 turnovers and shot 34 percent from the field (16-for-47) in the game.
After falling behind 8-4 in the first four minutes of play, the Cougars went on an 8-0 run paced by five points from Bolger to take a four-point advantage, 12-8, with 12 minutes left in the half. With seven minutes to play before halftime, a three-pointer by Reiter pulled SXU to within two points, 22-20. However, the Aztecs used a 10-0 run over the next six minutes to build a 12-point lead with a minute to play and Saint Xavier got a three-pointer by Saunders and a lay-up by Bolger, respectively, to pull within seven, 32-25, at halftime.
San Diego State started the second half with seven unanswered points before Reiter hit a three-pointer with 14 minutes left to play in regulation. Unfortunately for the Cougars, turnovers (14 in the second half) and key rebounds by the Aztecs down the stretch hurt their chances of cutting into the double-digit deficit. SDSU led by as many as 22 points in the second half before SXU closed out the final six minutes of play with a 16-4 run. Senior guard John Sharper and junior forward Marcus Slaughter both scored 12 points to lead the Aztecs.
SXU (1-0 overall) will stay in San Diego, Calif., to play NAIA foe San Diego Christian College (Calif.) on Saturday, November 5. The game is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. (pacific) start.Click here for the box score for the SXU-SDSU exhibition.