Men's Basketball - Fri, Feb. 11, 2005
CHICAGO - Despite a team-high 17 points by junior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township), the No. 16 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team could not pick up the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) win against No. 6 ranked Robert Morris College (Ill.) Friday, 84-72, at the Gentile Center on the campus of Loyola University in Chicago. The game was originally scheduled to be played on Saturday, January 22, but was postponed due to inclement weather.
SXU falls to 21-5 overall this season and 5-2 in league play, while Robert Morris (Ill.) wins its 20th straight game to improve to 22-3 overall and 8-0 in the CCAC. Besides Saunders, three other Cougars scored in double figures with senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) putting up 13 points, while senior guard Rick Romeli (Lansing, Ill./Marian Catholic) and senior forward Michael Rojas (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) each chipped in 12. SXU shot 58 percent (29-for-50) from the field in the game, but was outscored 44-29 after the halftime break.
Saint Xavier had a three-point edge at the half, but the Eagles were able to take the lead in the second half and a three-pointer by senior guard Carlos Hurt with just under seven minutes remaining in the game gave RMC its largest lead of the game, 72-63. The Cougars were able to narrow the lead to five, 73-68, with just over three minutes left, but Hurt struck again with a three-pointer to put Robert Morris up by eight with 2:47 to play.
With 2:38 left, Saunders was called for an offensive foul, his fifth foul in the contest, and was forced to sit the remainder of the game. Although the shot well from the field, SXU had trouble hitting its trey attempts converting just two of its 11 attempts (18 percent). The Cougars also committed 18 turnovers in the ballgame. Hurt finished with a game-high 29 points for Robert Morris.
Saint Xavier will play CCAC foe Illinois Institute of Technology on the road Saturday in Chicago at 2 p.m.