Men's Basketball - Wed, Jan. 25, 2006
CHICAGO - Sophomore guard Matt Marino (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) scored a game-high 22 points and dished out 12 assists to lead the No. 24 ranked Saint Xavier University men's basketball team to a 91-71 victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Wednesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. With the win, SXU head coach Tom O'Malley earned his 700th career victory (high school and college) as the Cougars improved to 14-8 overall and 2-2 in the conference standings.
Saint Xavier had three other players score in double figures in Wednesday's win besides Marino. Senior guard Jason Reiter (Lemont, Ill./Lemont) finished with 16 points along with three rebounds and four assists, while freshman guard Jason Genova (Chicago, Ill./Saint Patrick) tallied 15 points and four rebounds. Senior forward Jabari Saunders (Joliet, Ill./Township West) tacked on 13 points, six rebounds, and four assists in the winning effort. The Cougars shot an impressive 58 percent (29-for-50) from the field in the game, including a 43 percent clip (9-for-21) from beyond the arc.
The game was tight for the first 10 minutes of play before Saint Xavier started to make its move pulling ahead, 18-10, with nine minutes to play in the first half. With a 38-26 halftime lead, the Cougars came out strong early in the second half leading by as many as 24 points with 11 minutes to play. However, USF came back and pulled to within nine, 69-60, with just over five minutes to play. Saint Xavier was able to hit key shots and free throws down the stretch to extend its lead back into double figures and come away with the 20-point win.
SXU (14-8 overall, 2-2 CCAC) stays at home to face league-leading Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) on Saturday, January 28, at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Game time is scheduled for 3 p.m.