Men's Basketball - Sat, Feb. 19, 2005
Joliet, Ill. - Senior guard Rick Romeli (Lansing, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished with a game-high 22 points to lead the No. 17 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team to a key 87-70 road win over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Saturday at the USF Recreation Center in Joliet, Ill. The victory improves SXU's overall record to 24-5 and keeps the Cougars just one game behind Robert Morris College (Ill.) for the conference lead with a 8-2 mark.

In addition to Romeli's stellar play, Saint Xavier got good production from senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben), who finished 19 points and seven rebounds. Junior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) turned in 15 points for SXU, including three three-pointers, while senior forward Michael Rojas (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) just missed his second straight double-double performance with 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds.

SXU shot an unbelievable 66 percent (29-for-44) from the field in the game, including 8-for-16 from beyond the arc. The Cougars started off slow on offense falling behind 7-0 in the game's first three minutes. However, Saint Xavier stepped it up on both ends of the floor over the next 10 minutes and used a 26-8 run to help take a 35-30 advantage into the lockerroom at halftime. Although the Fighting Saints were able to keep it close for most of the second half, SXU never trailed after the halftime break and used free throws in the final two minutes to extend its lead.

Saint Xavier returns home on Tuesday, February 22, to take on CCAC foe Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) for Senior Night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m.