Men's Basketball - Thu, Nov. 18, 2004
Huntington, Ind. - In a game that saw 12 ties and 20 lead changes, the No. 20 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team could not pick up its fifth straight win of the season falling in overtime, 72-68, to No. 3 (NAIA Division II) Huntington College (Ind.) Wednesday in Huntington, Ind. The two teams seemed to be mirror images of one another during regulation each scoring 32 points in the first half and both teams finishing with 33 points in second half action to force the overtime period.
The Cougars had four players record double figures in scoring led by senior forward Michael Rojas (Burbank, Ill./Reavis) and junior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Township) with 13 points apiece. Junior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) scored 12 points for SXU in the loss, while senior guard Phillip Watson (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) chipped in 10. Rojas also led the team in rebounding with 11 boards, his first double-double performance of the season.
Huntington was clinging to a three-point lead, 64-61, with 1:05 remaining in the second half before Watson hit two free throws to cut the lead to one. With 35 seconds remaining, Huntington missed its second of two free throw attempts and Saunders came up with the defensive rebound, which led to the game-tying lay-up by Watson at the other end of the floor with 15 seconds remaining. In overtime, a free throw by Saunders with 2:48 left put SXU ahead 68-67, but HC guard Jared Yoder hit a three-pointer with 49 seconds remaining to put Huntington ahead, 70-68, and the Forresters were able to hit their free throws in the closing seconds to seal the victory.
Saint Xavier takes a nine-day break before hosting the two-day Saint Xavier University Classic beginning Friday, November 26, at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars open against Indiana-Northwest at 6 p.m. Friday.