What happened: Dayton 68 - Xavier 67
There are really only a couple of numbers that define Xavier's game otday against UD. The most important of these is rebounding; Xavier got crushed 30-16 overall and 11-4 on the offensive glass. How much of this was due to Kenny's balky back I can't say, as I wasn't able to actually view the game. I do know that Frease was the only Muskie with more than one board in the first half, and he ended up leading the team with five on the game. Horrible rebounding game for Xavier.
Another painful stat is the eight assists X managed on the game. While X won the turnover battle 14-9, Dayton had 14 assists. When assist numbers are down, that's a sign that the offense is stagnating and players are having/choosing to try to create their own shots. XU has been plagued throughout the season by games where the offense lack ball movement and general flow, and I'm guessing this was another one of them.
Guard Tu Holloway continues to be a bright spot for the Muskies, grabbing 23-2-2 on 7-17/4-10/5-5 shooting. He also picked up a couple of steals and had two turnovers. His 13 in the second half dragged Xavier back into a position where they had a chance to win the game at the end. Cheek (5-14/3-7/1-2) and Dante (2-6/1-5/0-0) both shot pretty poorly in a game where one more bucket would have pushed Xavier over the top.
Now Xavier has nothing to do but to wait. They'll head into the tournament having played one game - this one - in a span of right around two weeks. While that will probably serve to rest the tired legs of the least-deep team in the country, the Muskies would have rather made a better showing for themselves in the conference tournament. If things break right for X, they can still end up as a five seed, but their destiny from now until Selection Sunday is out of their hands.
Odds and ends:
-Dayton's normally stingy Juwan Staten committed five turnovers on the day.
-Xavier's nine turnovers came from only three players: Lyons (4), McLean (3), and Holloway (2).
-X trailed by 17 with 12:07 left before taking their only lead with a 30-12 run that spanned 11:42.
-More recap action to follow.