Men's Basketball - Tue, Feb. 22, 2005
CHICAGO - Senior forward Michael Rojas (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) made the most of his final regular-season home game leading the No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team with 20 points and 13 rebounds (his second double-double in the last three games) as the Cougars won a key Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) match-up over Olivet Nazarene University, 71-66, Tuesday on "Senior Night" at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The win improves SXU's overall record to 25-5 with the victory and the Cougars take over sole possession of second place in the conference with a 9-2 mark, trailing No. 6 Robert Morris College by a single game.
In addition to Rojas' stellar play, a host of other SXU players had solid performances in Tuesday's win. Senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) had a nice all-around game with 17 points, eight rebounds, and a game-high five steals. Senior guard Rick Romeli (Lansing, Ill./Marian Catholic) also played well on both ends of the floor with 12 points and a game-high four blocks. Junior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) finished with 12 points and four assists for SXU, while freshman guard Matt Marino (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) chipped in seven points off the bench.
Olivet was led by freshman forward Phil French with 16 points, while sophomore forward Stan Chismark turned in 13 points. The game was back-and-forth throughout with 12 tie scores and eight lead changes. Olivet took advantage down low outscoring the Cougars 38-18 in the paint, but SXU was able to capitalize on Tiger turnovers scoring 19 points off ONU miscues. Reiter was able to hit key free throws in the closing minute of the game to secure the five-point victory.
Saint Xavier will wrap up its regular season on the road in South Bend, Ind., taking on CCAC foe Indiana University-South Bend on Saturday, February 26. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.(eastern).