Xavier beat Oakland 73-63 as six players score in double-figures.
It was a slow start for the Musketeers, as they missed three of their first four field goal attempts. But making their next two, plus four free throws, had them down only 13-10 at the first media timeout with 15:17 left in the half.
They battled back to be tied with 10:54 to go in the first half. To this point, the same defensive issues that plagued the team through the first six games had returned, as Oakland shot 5/9 from three-point range.
They continued to pull ahead, going up 34-27 with 6:06 remaining in the first half, dominating the paint with 22 points there. They maintained the seven point lead to the final media timeout of the first half, leading 39-32 with 3:13 left.
Oakland trimmed the lead to five, going into halftime trailing Xavier just 41-36. Xavier Hill-Mais was the main source of offense for Oakland as, he scored 22 of their 36.
Big men Tyrique Jones and Zach Hankins both had strong first half’s, scoring eight points and grabbing six rebounds each. Ryan Welage and Naji Marshall also scored eight points each in the first half, and Marshall also dished out two assists.
Xavier started the second half strong, extending the lead to double-digits, and leading 50-39 with 15:50 to go in the game. However, a hot streak by Oakland saw them bring it back within three, as Xavier only led 55-52 with 10:07 left in the game.
Xavier managed to go on a 4-0 run to push the lead back to seven, 59-52 with 7:46 left in the game. They maintainedained this margin through the final media timeout, up 63-56 with 3:42 to go in the game.
This margin through the final media timeout, up 63-56 with 3:42 to go in the game. Oakland went on a 5-0 spurt to bring it within three, but Xavier managed to keep the lead the rest of the way. A Welage three with 36 seconds left to put Xavier up nine iced it, and the Musketeers came away with the 73-63 victory.
Marshall led the team in scoring with 14 points. He also grabbed five rebounds. Jones had another double-double, scoring 11 points and grabbing 11 rebounds, while also grabbing two steals.
Paul Scruggs had a strong all-around performance, scoring 10 points, grabbing five rebounds, while dishing a team high four assists, getting a tied-game high three steals, and Xavier’s only block of the game.
Kyle Castlin, Hankins and Welage also scored in double-figures, with 10, 11 and 11 respectively.