Just two days after struggling to pull away from EKU, X actually took care of business and walked away from Tennessee Tech.
The start was slow from X and it looked like things could get too interesting yet again. Nate Johnson (16/2/1) was cooking early and canned two 3s before the first media timeout. At the 11:51 mark of the first half X took its final lead on a Paul Scruggs (14/4/9) 3 which he followed with two assists to Bryan Griffin (9/8/1). Through the rest of the first half Tennessee Tech struggled offensively and Dwon Odom (4/3/5) pushed the Xavier lead to 14 on jumper(!) at the buzzer.
Unlike the EKU game the Muskies didn’t play the second half like they wanted to lose. The lead was up to 20 after a Jason Carter (8/12/2) layup and X never let up. There were a few sloppy plays that usually accompany a comfortable lead but X kept the ball moving offensively and pounded the ball inside to Freemantle (14/6/0). KyKy Tandy (10/0/1) scored all his points in the second half as he once again came off the bench. The most interesting thing to happen late in the game was Travis Steele experimenting with a 1-3-1 to end the evening. Even though the opposition wasn’t of a high caliber it will be interesting to see how much this gets utilized in the future.
A Few Thoughts
Xavier finally took care of business against lesser opposition. Tennessee Tech doesn’t shoot well, doesn’t defend well, doesn’t even press to make the game frenetic and X handled them as they should have. The Musketeers also took care of the ball after the absolute cluster cuss on Monday night. X only committed 8 turnovers this evening and also assisted 19 of the 29 made field goals. The shot selection was much improved as well; Xavier only had 15 3pt attempts and made 7 of them. A downside to this game though was that X allowed 15 ORebs against Tennessee Tech. Under no cirumstances should that have happened and it will have to improve if X is to get to where it wants to be.