Xavier lost to Texas in overtime Sunday, 78-76. XU (19-16, 10-10, 93rd) was on the road for the NIT sweet sixteen matchup. Tyrique Jones scored 22 points on 10-12 shooting and had 11 rebounds for Xavier. The Muskies’ Naji Marshall scored 19 points (7-17), and Zach Hankins added 13 (6-8). Texas’ (18-16, 8-11, 74th) Kerwin Roach II scored 21 points, and (6-13) and Jase Febres had 17 (6-10). Xavier finishes the 2018-19 season in 4th place (tie) in the Big East regular Season, semifinalists in the Big East Tournament, and NIT 2nd round participants. This was Travis Steele’s first season as head coach. Next season Xavier will begin play in the Charleston Classic, which features teams that include Florida, Miami, UConn, and Buffalo.
Zach Hankins scored 13 points, but was unable to score on the final play of the game (Nick Wagner/American Statesman).
The Bearcats fell to the Iowa Hawkeyes in the Round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament, 79-72. Friday, UC (28-7, 17-4, 13th) played Iowa (22-12, 11-11, 49th) in Columbus in front of many UC fans. Unfortunately, that and Justin Jenifer’s 19 points on 7-12 shooting was not enough. The Bearcats also had 17 points from Jarron Cumberland who was 7-17 from the field. Iowa’s Luka Garza scored 20 points, going 8-11 from the field. UC finishes their 2018-19 season as AAC Tournament champions, 2nd place AAC regular season, and NCAA Tournament Round of 64 participants. Cincinnati will return next year playing in the US Virgin Island Paradise Jam tournament featuring eight teams, including Nevada. The Cats’ will also play in the Chicago Legends in December against, you guessed it, Iowa.
Tre Scott (13) walks off the court after the defeat (Busting Brackets).
Xavier defended home court Wednesday night by defeating Toledo 78-64. The No. 3 seed Musketeers (19-15, 10-10, 86th) were led by Naji Marshall, who scored 20 points and had 21 rebounds in the contest. Marshall made nine consecutive free throws, as well. Tyrique Jones went seven of 11 from the field for X, scoring 14 points. No. 6 seed Toledo (24-8, 13-6, 41st) was led by Jaelen Sanford, who scored 23 points on eight of 17 shooting and six made free throws. This game was part the round of 32 in the NIT. Xavier now advances to the NIT Sweet Sixteen. XU will play at No. 2 seed Texas (17-16, 8-11, 84th) Sunday 4 PM. TV: ESPN Radio: 700 WLW
Naji Marshall (13) had a career night, scoring 20 and having 18 rebounds (Gary Landers).
The Cincinnati Bearcats took down the Houston Cougars, 69-57 to win the AAC Championship. Cincinnati (28-6, 17-4, 13th) won their second consecutive championship thanks to Jarron Cumberland’s tremendous 33-point effort on over 50% shooting. Cane Broome also scored 15 points for the Cats’ to prevent a third loss to the Coogs’. Houston (31-3, 18-3, 3rd) was led by Armoni Brooks and his 17 points, although the Cougars shot only 30% from the field. The Bearcats will face Iowa (22-11, 11-11, 53rd) in the round of 64 in the NCAA Tournament. TV: CBS Radio: 700 WLW
The Bearcats celebrate back-to-back AAC Championships (Carl Schmid/UC Athletics).
Cincinnati defeated Wichita State 66-63 in the AAC semifinals. The Cats’ (27-6, 16-4, 15th) were led by Nysier Brooks’ 13 points and Cane Broome’s clutch layup down the stretch. Wichita State (19-14, 12-9, 87th) was led by Markis McDuffie (18) in scoring. UC plays Houston (31-2, 18-2, 2nd) for the conference championship Sunday at 3:15 PM.
Keith Williams had six points in the UC victory (Justin Ford/USA Today Sports).
Xavier came up excruciatingly short of the Big East Finals, losing to Villanova in overtime in the semifinals, 71-67. XU (18-15, 10-10, 97th) was unable to hold a seven-point lead in the final minutes. The Musketeers were led by Paul Scruggs (28) and Zach Hankins (18) in scoring. Villanova (24-9, 15-5, 22nd) was able to rally behind Phil Booth (28) and Jermaine Samuels (17), who both made clutch three-pointers late in the game. The Musketeers will be headed to the NIT where they will host a game TBD.
Paul Scruggs scored 28 points in the semis’. (Vincent Carchietta/USA Today Sports).
The Cincinnati Bearcats beat SMU in Memphis Friday night, 82-74. The AAC quarterfinal matchup was close throughout the entire game. Cincy (26-6, 15-4, 16th) was led by Jarron Cumberland’s 26 points on 50% shooting. Justin Jenifer did not miss a shot, going six for six (five three-pointers) and scored 17 points for UC. Tre Scott also had 17 points and 12 rebounds for the Bear cats. SMU (15-17, 7-13, 144th) was able to keep the game very close with play from Jimmy Whitt (24) and Jahmal McMurray (18), who led the Mustangs in scoring. Cincinnati advances to the semifinals of the AAC tournament. Houston, Memphis, and Wichita State also remain in the tournament. UC plays Wichita State (19-13, 11-8, 81st) at 5 PM Saturday. TV: ESPN2 Radio: 700 WLW
Jarron Cumberland scored 26 points in the victory (UC Athletics).
Cincinnati plays Wichita State in Game 10. Houston plays Memphis in Game 9.