Wow. After a Fordham game that left a bad taste in everyone's mouths, Xavier bounced back in convincing fashion ahead of a big showdown with Dayton this weekend. If anyone thought they were detecting chinks in Xavier's armor, that idea should be dispelled now. The Muskies will head into UD Arena Sunday with loads of confidence.
As per the norm, Tu Holloway left an indelible mark on the game. He posted a 12-9-15 line on 2-6/2-4/6-6 shooting. About the only thing that went wrong for X all night was Tu's inability to grab that tenth board for the triple-double. He had nine with 9:15 left in the game and it looked all but inevitable, but Coach Mack took the opportunity to get Holloway some bench minutes and the final rebound never materialized. Can you believe there are eleven better point guards in the nation? I can't, because there aren't.
|Jeff Robinson gets to the rim.|
Kenny Frease's 10-9-4 and Jamel McLean's 12-5-1 came on a combined 9-13/0-0/4-4 shooting line. The two big men were overshadowed by the developing triple-double storyline, but their contributions were extremely efficient and far from anonymous.
|Dante doesn't love the lane.|
To add to all the offensive fireworks, Xavier's defense absolutely smothered a pretty good scoring ball club tonight. LaSalle's first half out put of 20 points was absolutely miserable, and they didn't start scoring with regularity until X had the game well in hand. The Explorers turned the ball over 15 times on the night to just 9 assists and put up a shooting line of .358/.208/.792. Only two LaSalle players hit at least half of their shots, and only one posted a positive assist to turnover ratio. The fact that X played this game just three days after edging Fordham at home speaks to the maturity of Xavier's players and the quality of the coaching staff.
Odds and ends:
-Jay Canty put up 10 of Xavier's 35 bench points tonight. The reserves also added eight rebounds, six assists, and three steals while only turning the ball over three times. The entire team really showed up for the game tonight.
-Xavier posted 30 assists on the night and outrebounded LaSalle 34-22. Just a statistically dominant night for the Muskies.
-Shannon Russell pointed out that XU's 52 first-half points were the most in a first half for the Muskies since 1/3/08 against Virginia and the most in any half since 1/31/10 against Fordham. Thanks to Shannon for adding a little bit of color to the text those of us without TV see.
-As always, Brad will be here to do his recapping work tomorrow morning.
Next game: Sunday 2/27 @Dayton.