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Xavier v. Fordham: Box Score Breakdown

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What happened: Xavier 79 - Fordham 72

Tu's shot chart on the night.
With former Xavier guard Jordan Crawford in town to check out the action, Tu Holloway posted a monster 26-11-10 on 8-11/1-3/9-11 shooting with no turnovers. Crawford saw the line developing, tweeting partway through the first half that Tu was on his way to a triple-double. Tu's shot chart shows he was having no trouble getting to the rim; that blob at the bucket is his 5-5 on layups and dunks. Other than a couple of threes and one 12-footer, Holloway was perfect on the night.

Mark Lyons posted 16-1-2 on 6-14/0-5/4-9 shooting. He was 5-5 on layups but 1-9 from outside of that range. With both guards getting to the rim so easily, Coach Mack couldn't have been thrilled to see Cheek hoisting three-quarters of a dozen mostly fruitless jump shots. That 4-9 from the line contributed to this game being a whole lot closer than it otherwise should have been.

Xavier shot chart.
As a team, Xavier shot 15-21 on layups/dunks but only 11-33 from outside of that range. Fordham was clearly over-matched around the rim (the Ram were 6-12 on layups) but Xavier spent too much time settling for jump shots. Tu and Cheek in particular were having no trouble breaking down the Fordham defense, going 10-10 from layup range. Against a team like Fordham - especially once a lead is established - the tendency to settle for a jumper can set in. I'd be surprised if Coach Mack had too many glowing things to say about the offensive effort in this game.

Defense wasn't exactly brilliant either. Against a team that came in with all the markers of a bad offensive club, Xavier contrived to give up 72 points. X was thoroughly beaten on the boards, 36-29, and gave up a 13-5 edge on the offensive glass. Fordham also posted a .444/.445/.600 shooting line as a team. I can't tell from the box score how much of that was good shooting versus bad defense, but I will say in Xavier's defense that Fordham hit an awful lot of jump shots and didn't get to the rim very much. All in all, X takes away a win from this game, but the way they got there isn't going to get it done a month from now.

Game balls:
-Tu Holloway: On a night where the rest of the Muskies seemed to struggle to find a rhythm, Holloway posted his second triple-double of the year. According to Examiner favorite Shannon Russell, no other X player has more than one career triple-double.

-Andrew Taylor: No other Xavier player managed to post a line without some serious flaws, but the hard luck senior came off the bench for 7-2-0 on 3-4/0-0/1-1. Taylor has suffered more than his fair share of injuries during his time at Xavier, but I haven't heard anyone question his effort level. His 13 minutes off the bench also came without a turnover.

Not so much:
-Jamel McLean: Going for 4-3-0 on 2-5/0-0/0-0 isn't what X looks for from their senior forward. Jamel only played 25 minutes tonight, so it's possible that injury or illness contributed to his sub-par output. If that is the case, Jamel, you have our apologies.

Odds and ends:
-Dante went 3-7 from three tonight. It's not gaudy in and of itself, but I'll take .429 from behind the arc. Ignoring his efforts last time out, the senior seems to be finding his stroke at the right time. I always anticipate huge daggers from Dante, and he's shaping up for one last March run.

-XU only turned the ball over four times on the night. Against a team that likes to press and force the pace, that's not a bad number at all. That's not a bad number in any circumstance, really.

-Fordham forward Kevin Bristol grabbed ten rebounds - including six on the offensive end - without scoring a single point.

-Brad's pulling a double shift tonight/tomorrow morning, so I'm not sure when his recap work will be up. Keep an eye on our Twitter for updates.

Next game: Tuesday 2/22 v. LaSalle, 7pm.

UPDATE: Coach Mack was chagrined about the team's effort level. Jamel McLean was sick, but CM didn't seem to care. More here from Shannon Russell.