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Xavier rolls Buffalo to improve to 2-0

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Xavier got out early and ran away and hid late to rough up Buffalo in a much-improved second win on the year.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Xavier
Coach Mack talking to one of tonight’s stars.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

After an unimpressive showing against Lehigh on Friday, Xavier was back in action against Buffalo tonight. The results was the same - this time the win was by 33 instead of 3 - but the performance was 100% more convincing. Xavier came out on a 10-0 run and really never looked back. Buffalo got the game within a dozen briefly a couple of times, but Xavier more or less cruised the whole way for a heartening runaway victory.

Xavier’s depth is still solid

The Muskies only have eight scholarship guys right now, but they all showed tonight that they can come to play. Sean O’Mara - who battled foul trouble all night - and RaShid Gaston both established dominance in the post, while Tyrique Jones was a bull on the glass and had a couple of impressive blocked shots. Quentin Goodin showed no signs of the freshman jitters he may have had last time out, and Malcolm Bernard stayed active on defense without forcing anything on offense. Adding Myles and Kaiser to a roster already rolling sounds good to me.

There’s still work to do

This was a back alley pummeling of a solid team, but there are things that could use some cleaning up. JP and Tre both posted fairly inefficient shooting performances from the floor. The ball wasn’t quite moving on offense as well as you’d like to see. Buffalo got its share of looks from deep. Still, for tonight, it was good enough.

It’s still a ref show

Parts of this game were just brutal to follow, and a lot of it goes down to the whistles. There was a foul called every 36 seconds in the first half. Couple that with routine things like timeouts, media timeouts, balls going out of bounds, and delays to figure out who the foul was on, and you’ve got a game that had no chance of establishing a rhythm. In just nine minutes of playing time, Sean O’Mara acquired four fouls. He may have deserved them, but he’s going to have trouble impacting games if officials are set on doing the same.