Xavier led for most of the first half and had, at times, pushed that lead out to nine. Unfortunately, they go to the half down one. That despite Xavier shooting 48% from the floor and, after a shaky start, dominating on the glass. Sean O’Mara leads Xavier with 11, Quentin Goodin has four assists, and JP leads with four rebounds.
The reasons for concern come mostly on the defensive end. Maryland has found the room to shoot 15 three pointers and has only been forced into three turnovers. The Terps are only shooting 40% from the floor, a number they will certainly count on going up. Continuing to find wide open looks from behind the arc is certainly a large part of their offensive plan. If, for all the Musketeers did on offense this half, they can’t turn that into a halftime lead, there could be trouble on the horizon.
A large part of that comes from Xavier’s last five possessions. Prior to Q’s missed runner, they turned the ball over four straight times in a stretch reminiscent of the collapse down the stretch against Butler. Another thing that the Musketeers could use is a rolling Trevon Bluiett. Tre is currently 1-8 from the floor and has only five points. In the Big East tournament, he was a second half player, and Xavier fans must be hoping for much the same again tonight.
Some halfway decent officiating instead of the current diaper fire wouldn’t hurt either.