Men's Basketball - Thu, Jan. 13, 2005
CHICAGO -- Junior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township), who currently sits at No. 2 nationally for field goal percentage (69.7 percent) in the NAIA, had another impressive performance Wednesday as the No. 18 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team picked up a 77-61 win over Purdue University-Calumet (Ind.) in their 2005 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Saunders finished 8-for-9 from the field Wednesday and had a game-high 20 points to go along with six rebounds. SXU improves to 17-3 overall with the victory, while the Peregrines drop to 6-13.
Besides Saunders, three other Cougars scored in double figures for Saint Xavier. Senior forward Rick Romeli (Lansing, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished with 16 points, while senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) and junior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) had 13 and 12 points, respectively. Senior forward Eric Regan (St. Charles, Ill./Drake University) finished with a team-high eight rebounds in the winning effort, while Watson dished out a team-high four assists. SXU shot a stellar 56 percent (29-for-52) from the field in the game and committed only 10 turnovers. Purdue-Calumet had three players score 11 points apiece in the game.
The game stayed close for most of the first half, but Saint Xavier used hot shooting late to build a seven-point halftime advantage, 38-31. The hot shooting continued early in the second half as the Cougars built a double-digit lead in the first five minutes and were never seriously threatened the rest of the way. Led by Saunders, SXU finished the game with 36 of its 77 points coming from inside the paint.
Saint Xavier takes a week off before facing CCAC foe Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT) on Wednesday, January 19, at the Shannon Center. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.