Men's Basketball - Wed, Feb. 2, 2005
CHICAGO - Junior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) finished with game-highs in both scoring and rebounding with 20 points and eight rebounds, respectively, as the No. 15 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team defeated Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Indiana University-South Bend, 76-46, Wednesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. SXU shot a blistering 57 percent (33-for-58) from the field en route to the victory as the Cougars improved their overall record to 20-4 (4-1 CCAC), while IUSB dropped to 8-17 overall (1-5 CCAC).
Saunders also shot an impressive 8-for-9 from the field to boost his season field goal percentage to 72.5 percent (137-for-189), the second highest individual NAIA percentage in the nation. Besides Saunders, three other Saint Xavier players scored in double figures in Wednesday's win with freshman point guard Matt Marino (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) coming off the bench for 15 points. Senior forward Michael Rojas (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) got into foul trouble in the second half playing only 22 minutes of the game, but still turned in 13 points and six boards. Senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) was the final SXU player in double figures with 11 points.
The Titans jumped out to a quick 6-0 lead in the first couple minutes behind two three-pointers, but once the Cougars started scoring they were tough to stop. SXU began to pull away midway through the first half and took a 36-23 lead into the lockerroom at halftime. The second half was all Saint Xavier with the Cougars shooting 58 percent after halftime compared to just 31 percent by IUSB. SXU also did a nice job of taking care of the ball recording just 11 turnovers in the game.
Saint Xavier heads to Hammond, Ind., on Saturday, February 5, to take on Purdue University-Calumet in a CCAC match-up. Game time is set for 3 p.m.