Xavier downs Miami (OH) 82-55 behind strong defensive and offensive execution.
Xavier got off to a slow start, trailing 7-5 at the first media timeout. They were able to pick things up on offense, surging out to a 17-14 lead with 11:52 left in the first half behind 6/9 shooting from the field and 3/5 shooting from deep.
The run continued, stretching to 14-3 over a 5:25 stretch. After a three by Ryan Welage, they led 27-17 with 8:12 left in the first half. After the timeout, Miami made a 6-0 run to cut the lead to 27-23. However, Xavier responded with an 8-0 run of their own to push the lead back to double-digits, 35-23 with 3:41 in the first half.
They continued to stretch the lead heading into half time, up 42-28 when the break hit.
Miami struggled from the field, making only 36.4% (12/33) of their field goal attempts and 23.1% (3/13) of their three-point attempts. Xavier, on the other hand, made 55.2% (16/29) of their field goal attempts and 33.3% (4/12) of their three point attempts.
Naji Marshall had a strong first half, scoring 10 points, grabbing four rebounds, dishing an assist and getting a steal. Tyrique Jones had a strong half on the boards, grabbing seven rebounds while scoring seven points.
Xavier opened the second half the way at closed the first: strong. The Musketeers led 52-29 with 16:09 left in the game after going on a 10-1 run to start the half.
They went cold after, scoring only four points in the next 5:29 while Miami scored nine, dropping the Xavier lead to 18, 56-38, with 10:38 left in the game. Things picked back up after the timeout, as, Jones finished off a double-double and Xavier led 60-40 with 7:52 left in the game.
They led 70-46 at the final media timeout with 3:52 left, and cruised to a final of 82-55
Xavier held Miami to just 33.3% (21/63) shooting from the field and 24.1% (7/29) from three-point range. Though Xavier wasn’t that great from three-point range themselves (31.8%, 7/22), they shot well inside, 54.1% on 33/61.
This was the most well executed game Xavier has played on both ends of the floor, consistently going to the rim, minus a short second-half stretch where they shot four threes in five possessions, and kept Miami’s leading scorers, Nike Sibande and Dalonte Brown from getting anything going, as they combined for 15 points on 6/20 (30%) shooting.
Marshall had his best game of the season, scoring 17 points, grabbing six rebounds and four steals. Jones had another double-double, scoring 13 points and 13 rebounds.
Quentin Goodin had a good outing as well, scoring eight points, while dishing out eight assists and committing zero turnovers. Kyle Castlin had his best game yet for Xavier, scoring nine points, grabbing four rebounds, a steal and a block.
Team highs for the game:
Points- Naji Marshall, 17
Rebounds- Tyrique Jones, 13
Assists- Quentin Goodin, 8
Steals- Naji Marshall, 4
Blocks- Paul Scruggs, 3