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Xavier beats Northern Iowa to win the Tire Pros Invitational championship game

Xavier is suddenly bulletproof in early season tournaments.

NCAA Basketball: Buffalo at Xavier
This is JP from a different game.
Frank Victores-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier used a big surge to begin the second half to put this one to bed, riding big halves from Trevon in the first and Ed in the second to a fairly stress free championship. Remember when we were cursed in these tournaments? We’re 6-0 in Orlando over the last two years.

Ed needs a jumper

Sumner's game is built on his athletic ability and handle, but he has trouble creating in the half court with his man standing four feet off of him. Passing and driving lanes close down with that kind of cushion, and teams are consistently going under ball screens on him. He's obviously still productive, but with a jump shot he'd be unstoppable.

The zipper still fits

The game was tied at the half to the tune of 30-30. Xavier put the clamps on to open the half, holding UNI to 6 points in the first 17 possessions of the half to spur a 21-6 run that really opened up the game (as such runs tend to do). To be able to go from nip and tuck to prepping the body bags is a valuable ability, and Xavier flashed it against a pretty good offense today.

We get to do this again

In just less than a week, Xavier will be back in action against UNI, this time at home. Hopefully the officiating will be a little more balanced there, as Xavier’s aggressive style had them down 15-4 in fouls drawn at one point late in the second half. Xavier didn’t play exceptionally well in getting the win tonight; we’ll get to see what sort of adjustment Coach Mack puts into place for the return leg.