It was a disappointing week for both UC and Xavier as the past seven days have seen the teams go a combined 0-4. While both teams faced tough opposition I would have expected both to at least earn one win out of the two games they played.
Xavier had its four-game winning streak snapped at Dayton on
Saturday, as the Flyers easily dispatched of the Musketeers by 15 points in an
87-72 victory. The Flyers brought too much to the table with four scoring
double digits, led by big man Matt Kavanaugh who dropped 20 along with 9
rebounds. The Musketeers star duo of Mark Lyons and Tu Holloway had 20 and 21
respectively. No other Muskies player had more than seven points. Statistically
Xavier was poor on the boards and at the free throw line. The Flyers dominated
the glass at a 41 to 29 clip, in addition to shooting nearly 80 percent from
the line compared to Xavier’s 50 percent. This was a game to forget for Xavier
Not quite as horrific was Xavier’s 68-73 loss to Saint Louis on Wednesday night. The most telling stat of the game was the end of Xavier’s record setting A-10 home winning streak, 43 games. The last time Xavier lost at the Cintas Center was nearly six years ago to St. Joe’s. Xavier fought back from a 14 point deficit to tie the game thanks in large part to a 27 point performance by Mark Lyons. But once again Xavier had trouble containing the inside as the Billikens Brian Conklin had 19 points. At 6’6” Conklin isn’t the tallest, still he had his way against the trio of Andre Davis, Kenny Frease and Travis Taylor. A combo that combined for a less than mesmerizing seven points for the Musketeers. If there were any positives Xavier could take from the two losses it’s that they are only a half game back of first and a less than stellar Charlotte team is next on the schedule.
As for the Bearcats, two losses against West Virginia (in overtime) and no. 3 Syracuse were far less embarrassing — but much more costly in terms of conference supremacy — than those of Xavier. With a 5-3 conference record, the Bearcats are 2.5 games behind Syracuse with a slim possibility of overtaking them. The Saturday afternoon game against the Mountaineers was tight the whole way through and the Bearcats should be disappointed to let the “W” slip away. The Big East’s leading scorer, Kevin Jones (20.4 points per game) led the way with 26 for West Virginia, while Cashmere Wright led UC with 17. Sean Kilpatrick had an off night by his standards with 12.
The Bearcats started out strong Tuesday night against the
Orange in a nationally televised game and in front of more than 13,000 at Fifth
Third Arena. Cashmere Wright started hot as UC built an early nine point lead
before a lid was placed over the basket. The game remained tight until
back-to-back three’s gave Syracuse a nine point lead with under two minutes
left. Yancy Gates had his best game since returning from suspension with 16
points and 10 rebounds. Cashmere Wright finished 5-9 from three point range and
finished with 17. The Bearcats are surely relieved to have Rutgers and DePaul
on next weeks schedule, the two have a combined 5-11 Big East record.