It was hardly a masterpiece, but Xavier did the job against visiting DePaul University. The No. 24/25 Musketeers (18-6, 8-3 Big East) pushed through an error-laden performance to beat the visiting Blue Demons (8-16, 1-10), 72-61, Wednesday night at Cintas Center. It was an unrefined performance, if not uneventful, but it was more than enough against the Big East Conference's last-placed team. For Xavier, the victory sets up a Saturday clash with national implications as No. 2-ranked Villanova comes to Cintas Center. A win would pull the Musketeers, currently the Big East's No. 2 team, into first-place in the league. Xavier had a talented but struggling Blue Demons side to contend with before it could turn to the hyped, nationally-televised Villanova game, though. The Musketeers tied for a season-high 19 turnovers and DePaul scored 19 points from those, which made the final margin closer than necessary. The Cintas crowd of 10,250 grew restless at times as DePaul hung around well into the second half. "It wasn't pretty," Xavier head coach Chris Mack said afterward. "Give DePaul credit. They changed defenses. They changed the way they did things, both in man and in zone (defenses). But we still have to be better with the ball... All in all, really, really happy anytime you can win in this league." DePaul guard Brandon Cyrus (6'5''-G-97) scored a team-high 18 points. Billy Garrett added 12 and Eli Cain, a player Mack hailed as one of the best guards in the Big East, had 15 points. A well-rounded offensive attack that included 20 assists on 26 field goals allowed the hosts to out-gun the visitors and overshadow their own shortcomings in the contest. Junior guard Trevon Bluiett (6'6''-G-94) continued the best stretch of his Xavier career with a workmanlike, game-high 20 points on 8 of 18 shooting. He also added seven rebounds. Junior guard J.P. Macura (6'5''-G-95) scored 13 points and senior forward Rashid Gaston (6'9''-F-94) tallied 14 points on 6 of 8 from field, the most the transfer has scored in a Xavier uniform. Sophomore Kaiser Gates (6'8''-F-96) scored just three points but went for a career and game-high 10 rebounds. That sum brought his rebounding total to 36 over Xavier's current four-game winning streak. "I think he's really focused in on that," Mack said of Gates' rebounding. "That's a statistic you're allowed to be greedy in. Nobody's gonna get upset if you're grabbing too many rebounds." Xavier tired down the stretch, but put the game away early enough that it was able to coast to victory over the final four minutes. A 9-0 run stretched the Musketeers' lead to 55-42 at the 9:17 mark of the period. By about the four-minute mark, the lead stretched to what was at that point a game-high 14 points. DePaul was gassed at that point, and had nearly as many self-inflicted wounds as Xavier with 17 turnovers. Freshman forward Tyrique Jones did some damage during that defining stretch halfway through the second half, finishing a tap-in off an inbounds pass from freshman guard Quentin Goodin (6'3''-G-97) at the 10:31 mark. About 90 second later, Jones added two free-throws. He finished with eight points on 3 of 4 shooting. Jones is now 11 of 12 from the field over the last two games after a perfect, 8 of 8 performance at Creighton on Saturday. Jones' contribution helped added to another noticeable outing from the Musketeers' front court platoon. That position group has provided a lift during the winning streak after up-and-down play earlier in the season. " (Mack) just wants us to play well. I don't think he really cares who starts. I don't think we really care who starts," Gaston said of the recent front court play. "He just wants us to play well as a unit. Obviously, we have to step up with the loss of Ed (Sumner), he's just putting the onus on us." Goodin was relieved of point guard duties around the time Xavier started the 9-0 run. During that stretch, Macura ran the point for the hosts. "I have a freshman point guard going against DePaul's all-time leading free-throw shooter," Mack said of Goodin's night, which included a career-high eight assists and five points on 2 of 6 shooting. " (Goodin) still managed to play almost 30 minutes. He was in a little bit of foul trouble but, you know, we'll take it," Mack said. Xavier tied the season-high mark for turnovers late in the game but with victory in-hand, although it allowed the Blue Demons to make the scoreline more respectable down the stretch. "We're not going to be perfect from here on out," Mack said. "We do have to be better with the basketball. Nineteen turnovers, especially at home, is way too many... We got to get our battery recharged. I'm sure our focus will be there (Saturday) because we're playing the best team, or one of the best teams in the country, and certainly the best team in our league over however many years we've been in it." Courtesy of: cincinnati.com
Mika leads BYU to upset of No. 1 Gonzaga 79-71 - 1 hour ago
follow us on
Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute lef... [read more]
Top-ranked Gonzaga's quest to go undefeated this season ended under a barrage of baskets by BYU's Eric Mika (6'10''-F) on Saturday night. Mika had 29 points and 11 rebounds, and BYU upset Gonzaga 79-71. It was the Cougars' first victory ever over a No. 1 team, after four losses, and spoiled the Bulldogs' perfect record in their last regular season game. The sophomore center made 10 of 14 shots from the floor and 9 of 13 free throws. His biggest basket put BYU ahead 73-71 with a minute left in the game. Gonzaga lost the ball on its next two possessions, and then Corbin Kaufusi (6'10''-C) had a putback and Mika hit two free throws to put the game out of reach. Gonzaga ended a string of 15 consecutive games where it didn't trail in the second half. "They haven't had anyone have a lead on them in the second half for quite a while," BYU coach Dave Rose said. "I thought that would be a really big emotional thing for us, and an emotional thing for them to have to respond. "You beat the No. 1 team on the road the last weekend of the season, it's good for a lot of reasons," Rose added. The Cougars rallied from an early 16-point deficit, and Mika said the team never wavered in its belief it could win. "I think all of us did and that was a big thing," Mika said. "I don't think a lot of teams, especially in our conference, believe 100 percent that they're going to come in and do that." The Cougars scored 44 points in the second half and made nine 3-pointers to just three for Gonzaga. Nigel Williams-Goss (6'3''-G-94) scored 19 points for Gonzaga (29-1, 17-1 West Coast), which was seeking to become the first team since Kentucky in 2014-15 to finish the regular season without a loss. "Obviously, it didn't go as we hoped," Gonzaga coach Mark Few said. "We missed a lot of free throws and turned the ball over too much to be able to win a close game like that." Gonzaga missed 13 of its 29 free throws and had 16 turnovers but still led most of the game. "The season isn't over," Gonzaga guard Jordan Mathews (6'4''-G-94) said. "It is a great season. We'd love to be 30-0, but we are 29-1." T.J. Haws added 17 points and Elijah Bryant 14 for BYU (21-10, 12-6). The last team to finish the entire season undefeated was Indiana in 1975-76. Gonzaga came out fired up and jumped to an 18-2 lead in the first five minutes, making 7 of 10 shots. The Zags cooled off, and three consecutive 3-pointers by BYU's Haws cut Gonzaga's lead to 26-22. Mika's basket cut Gonzaga's lead to one point before the Bulldogs closed with a 10-5 run to take a 41-35 lead at halftime. Zach Collins (7'0''-F-97)' putback gave Gonzaga a 58-46 lead midway through the second. A technical foul on Gonzaga helped BYU cut its deficit to 58-53 and seemed to spark the Cougars. A pair of 3-pointers by Nick Emery (6'2''-G) cut Gonzaga's lead to one, and Mika's basket gave the Cougars their first lead at 61-60. The teams traded baskets until Mika put the Cougars ahead for good. Courtesy of: abcnews.com
Behind a double-double from Jae'Sean Tate (6'4''-F) and hot shooting nights from C.J. Jackson (6'1''-PG) and Jaquan Lyle (6'5''-G-96), Ohio State handled No. 16 Wisconsin, 83-73, in head coach Thad Matta 's Ohio State-record 457th game at the helm of the Buckeyes Thursday at Value City Arena. Tate went for 15 points and 12 boards for his second-consecutive double-double while Jackson went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds, four as... [read more]
Behind a double-double from Jae'Sean Tate (6'4''-F) and hot shooting nights from C.J. Jackson (6'1''-PG) and Jaquan Lyle (6'5''-G-96), Ohio State handled No. 16 Wisconsin, 83-73, in head coach Thad Matta 's Ohio State-record 457th game at the helm of the Buckeyes Thursday at Value City Arena. Tate went for 15 points and 12 boards for his second-consecutive double-double while Jackson went 4-for-4 from beyond the arc en route to a team-high 18 points to go along with four rebounds, four assists and four steals. Lyle added 17 points, including all 10 from the charity stripe, while also tacking on four helpers for the Buckeyes (16-13, 6-10 Big Ten). Bronson Koenig (6'4''-G) led all scorers with 27 for the Badgers (22-6, 11-4 Big Ten). After a Koenig 3-pointer gave Wisconsin a 6-4 lead just over two minutes into the game, the Buckeyes used a 9-0 run to take a 13-6 advantage with 14:40 remaining in the half. The Buckeyes then got hot from the field, turning it into a 44-31 halftime lead. For the half, Ohio State shot 51.6 percent while connecting on five shots from behind the arc. Tate turned in a double-double with 13 points and 10 boards in 17 first-half minutes while Jackson added nine points and three assists. Koenig kept the Badgers in it with 14 in the first half, including four 3-pointers. The Badgers had the Buckeyes lead trimmed to nine at 56-47 with 11:00 remaining but back-to-back 3-pointers by Lyle and Jackson pushed the Ohio State advantage up to 15 at 62-47 with 9:19 left to play. Wisconsin was unable to get within 13 until the final minute of play as the Buckeyes hit on 5 of 6 3-pointers after the half. Courtesy of: mariononline.com
San Diego, CA - Jenny Craig Pavilion had never hosted the No. 1 team in the country before Gonzaga showed up on Thursday night. The top ranked Bulldogs (29-0) came in and systematically dismantled the University of San Diego (12-17) 96-38, recording the largest margin of victory ever for a No. 1 team on the road. Gonzaga jumped out to an 11-0 lead while USD missed its first nine shots and pushed that lead to 28 at halftime despite nine turnovers and 50 percent shooting from the foul line. [read more]
San Diego, CA - Jenny Craig Pavilion had never hosted the No. 1 team in the country before Gonzaga showed up on Thursday night. The top ranked Bulldogs (29-0) came in and systematically dismantled the University of San Diego (12-17) 96-38, recording the largest margin of victory ever for a No. 1 team on the road.
Gonzaga jumped out to an 11-0 lead while USD missed its first nine shots and pushed that lead to 28 at halftime despite nine turnovers and 50 percent shooting from the foul line. The Zags came out even more focused in the second half and shot an astounding 74 percent from the field including 8-of-11 from 3-point range. Gonzaga hit 13 3's on the night while USD managed just 14 made buckets, a recipe for disaster. The Zags imposed their will defensively challenging every shot and staying solid. Combine that effort with smart play and you get that type of performance as they only committed 12 fouls in the game.
Every night it can be one of several players leading the way for the Zags and on this night the first standout was Johnathan Williams III (6'9''-F-95). The 6-9 junior transfer from Missouri made his presence known early on both ends of the floor. USD was determined to quickly double Przemek Karnowski on every touch and he was more than willing to pass out of the traps. Williams found himself on the receiving end of passes out of the rotations resulting in 10 first half points despite missing 4-of-6 free throws. He was more dominant on the defensive end grabbing 13 first half rebounds while USD only grabbed eight as a team. Williams was aggressive and used his size and athleticism to attack everything coming off the rim. His performance allowed the guards to leak out in transition and push the pace offensively leading to several of those open 3-point looks. Williams finished the night with 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and 19 rebounds. He is now shooting 61 percent from the floor on the year.
The Tritons came out determined not to let the 7-1 Karnowski beat them and he was held to just three field goal attempts notching just five points and three rebounds. But he became a facilitator in successfully passing out of the post and initiating the offensive attack. It has been the calling card all year long of the unselfish Bulldogs who made it look easy all night long in shooting 66 percent for the game.
Leading scorer 6-5 junior Nigel Williams-Goss had a typical game for him with 14 points, six rebounds and five assists. The player of the year candidate is averaging 16.2 points, 5.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists. He is always in control, is a vocal leader on the floor and plays extremely hard on the defensive end. He had the ability to get to the rim whenever he wanted yet he displayed patience by working the offense and finding even easier shots for his teammates. Many of those open looks went to Josh Perkins and Zach Collins. Perkins (6-3 soph.) knocked down 5-of-8 from 3-point range and seemed to be unguarded all night long. He also chipped in five rebounds and led the team with six assists, which shows he was not forcing shots up.
The Bulldogs also have the luxury of bringing a 7-foot McDonald's All-American off the bench in freshman Collins. Collins is third on the team in scoring at 10.7 per game despite only playing 17 minutes per game. He has the look of a future lottery pick written all over him. He has a great combination of size and athleticism to go along with polished post moves and a soft touch. He can score on either block with either hand. He made one play where he caught the ball at the high post in a high-low set, saw the pass was not there then took one hard dribble to his left and finished it left handed like a guard. He is also a good defender and has 3-point range (43.8%).
There were not many bright spots for USD on a night where they shot just 24 percent, which was not their worst performance of the year on their home court (19 percent vs. St. Mary's). Sophomore 6-2 guard Olin Carter was the only player in double figures for the Tritons finishing with 15 on 6-of-16 shooting. He worked hard offensively trying to find cracks in the Bulldog defense but mostly had to settle for contested jump shots. When given good looks he can knock down shots consistently, but those opportunities were rare on this night. Brett Bailey leads the team averaging 15.6 points but he was held in check tonight. The 6-6 forward out of Spokane could not find his stroke going just 3-of-11 for seven points. He created a few scoring opportunities using his ability to put the ball on the floor against the bigger defenders but was unable to finish around the rim.
The Bulldogs proved once again that they are in the national title hunt with this dominating performance. According to Synergy Stats they are No. 2 in offensive points per possession and No. 1 in defensive points per possession. They are big, athletic, deep, unselfish and play with poise and purpose on both ends of the floor. They are going to be a tough out in March. Gonzaga will host BYU on Saturday and try and finish the regular season undefeated. San Diego will host Portland, also on Saturday.
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.