Holy cow. After a solid but unspectacular 18 minutes, Xavier led 35-30 with 2 minutes to play in the first half. Then they turned the ball over in 4 straight possessions, leading to a 6-0 run to close the half for the Terps. An easy bucket for Maryland to start the second half had things looking less than ideal from the blue sideline.
Then Tre sprang into action. He ripped off five straight threes through the middle of the second half, and Xavier saddled up on him to turn a narrow deficit into a semi-comfortable lead. First-half hero Sean O’Mara pitched in with a couple of buckets, and Q ran a fairly solid point in his tournament debut as a freshman.
Coming into the final media timeout with a seven-point lead, Xavier never faltered in the face of a Maryland press and some questionable officiating, and the Muskies are headed through to the second round to take on the Florida State/FGCU winner.
Trevon Bluiett is a second half machine
Trevon was worth a sterling 1-8/1-6/0-0 shooting line in the first half, after which Xavier was trailing by one and kind of looking stagnant. He came out in the second half and yakked his first three. Then another one, and another. And another. And another, basically keying by himself a 14-0 run that took Xavier from down 3 to up 11 in seemingly the blink of an eye. Better still, he took a moment or two to make sure Maryland’s highly touted perimeter defenders knew who was doing it to ‘em. He’s not bashful, and it’s awesome to watch.
Quentin Goodin has the goods
Setting aside - or even including - the two turnovers in the last two minutes of the first half, Quentin Goodin was pretty daggone good tonight. Not only did he recover from that little down spell without ever looking like it bothered him, but he also dished out 9 assists and played solid defense on Maryland media favorite Melo Trimble when called upon to do so. Was he perfect? No. Is he a freshman playing senior’s minutes in the only postseason tournament that matters? Yes. He did his job sensationally tonight.
Depth is overrated
Xavier got one point out of RaShid Gaston and zero points out of Tyrique Jones for a total of one point from those two dudes. Quality came at the expense of quantity though, as X was pushing 30 bench points thanks to monster games out of Sean O’Mara and Kaiser Gates off the pine. O’Mara in particular was sensational, doing whatever he pleased in the middle against Maryland’s overmatched defenders. The season is over for Maryland. Xavier rolls on.