In the midst of finals frenzy, Xavier Basketball has no weekday games to occupy their week. Leaving players with more time to focus on school. Plus, more time to prepare for their remaining non-conference schedule.
Xavier began the week fresh from losing this season’s Crosstown Shootout. Losing 62-47 to Cincinnati Basketball last Saturday. With Xavier left to assess what went wrong for them in this game. The biggest lessons to learn mostly concern their offense. After all, Xavier scored their least points against Cincinnati since 2012.
The Xavier Musketeers offense started off on a strong note against the Cincinnati Bearcats. Keeping the game competitive for most of the first half. Cincinnati broke away with the lead roughly five minutes before halftime. The Bearcats kept the lead throughout the rest of the game. Outscoring Xavier 44-29 in the last 24 and a half minutes of the game.
Turnovers also hurt Xavier against the Bearcats on offense and defense. Xavier had 12 turnovers while Cincinnati had five last Saturday. The Musketeers also lost the battle of the boards. Cincinnati outpaced the Musketeers 36-30 in the battle for rebounds. Offensive rebounds particularly hurt Xavier, trailing 7-12 in that category.
Xavier now has three games left before conference play begins. Starting with Eastern Kentucky Basketball this coming Saturday. Both teams will go into this game with 6-4 records. Eastern Kentucky is fresh from a buzzer-beater win against Northern Kentucky. Neither team has a big signature win to point to this season.
Missouri Basketball could be the most challenging of the three. While Detroit Mercy could be the least challenging of these games. Missouri could be an NCAA Tournament contender. In an SEC that could be one of this season’s most competitive conferences. Detroit Mercy on the other hand is currently struggling with a 3-7 record.
Quentin Goodin, Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones will be the key Musketeers to watch in these games. Goodin led the Musketeers with 12 points last Saturday. Marshall and Tyrique Jones were tied with a team leading seven rebounds. Jones leads the team with 85 rebounds this season. Marshall also leads the team with 13 points per game.
Saturday’s game from Xavier’s Cintas Center will tip-off at 8 PM Eastern on FS1.