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Xavier defeats Detroit-Mercy 69-55: Recap

NCAA Basketball: Xavier at Missouri Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Xavier got off to a strong start, leading 10-6 at the first media timeout with 15:41 left in the first half. Quentin Goodin provided the offensive spark Xavier needed, scoring eight points and assisting on the other two.

The Musketeers stayed in front over the next few minutes, leading 15-10 with 10:41 left in the first half. Due to injuries to Tyrique Jones and Naji Marshall, Keonte Kennedy, Elias Harden, and Dontarius James all had played at least a couple minutes during this time.

Things stayed even through the next timeout, as Xavier led 19-14 with 7:54 remaining in the first half. However, a 10-0 Detroit-Mercy run put them ahead 24-23 with 4:36 left in the first half. Kennedy immediately answered with a three-pointer to give Xavier the lead back, 26-24 with 4:20 until the first half ended.

Xavier would take a 32-26 lead over Detroit-Mercy into the half. Goodin led the team’s offense with nine points and four assists. Hankins had a strong defensive performance as well, grabbing five rebounds and blocking two shots.

The Musketeers held Detroit-Mercy to 10-30, 33.3%, from the field and 2-12, 16.7%, from three-point range. They also limited Detroit-Mercy to two second chance points in the half.

Hankins helped stretch the Xavier lead to ten, 36-26, before a 7-0 Detroit-Mercy run saw the Titans cut the deficit to three, 38-35, with 16:09 remaining in the game.

The Musketeers started to pull away after that, going up 46-40 with 11:44 remaining in the game, hitting three straight field goals. Detroit-Mercy stuck around, but three, three-pointers in a row for Ryan Welage helped keep Xavier out in front, 55-46, with 7:26 left in the game.

That was just the beginning of a 16-3 Xavier run, which had them ahead 63-46 with 3:51 left in the game. The run also included two transition dunks for Goodin, one of which was a double-clutch slam.

Detroit-Mercy still refused to go away quietly, cutting the Xavier lead to 10, 65-55, with 47.5 seconds left. It was to no avail however, as Xavier came away with the 69-55 win.

Goodin was the MVP of the game for Xavier, finishing with a career high 22 points, nine rebounds, nine assists, and two steals while playing all but 34.1 seconds of the 40 minutes. Hankins also filled in well for the injured Jones, scoring 12 points, grabbing 11 rebounds, and blocking six shots.

Welage was also a major factor in the win, scoring 16 points and blocking a shot. Paul Scruggs had some rough moments with eight turnovers, but finished with nine points, five rebounds, three assists, two blocks and two steals.

After the game, Goodin mentioned that he felt the team played more connected and shared the ball more against Detroit-Mercy after the player’s only meeting and the meeting with the coaches after the Missouri lost. He was right, as Xavier had 20 assists on 22 made field goals.

Xavier also held Detroit-Mercy to 22-68, 32.4%, from the field and 6-27, 22.2%, from three-point range.