Xavier lost to Wake Forest on the road by two despite 30 points from the Musketeers’ Paul Scruggs, and 16 points from Naji Marshall. Quentin Goodin attempted a three-pointer at the end of the game, which was not successful for the Muskies.’ Xavier is 9-2, ranked 52nd by CBB Reference, but is just outside the top 25 in the Coaches’ and AP polls. XU will play Western Carolina (7-2, 136th) Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW Line: Xavier favored by 15.
UC basketball defeated the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels 72-65 (OT) Saturday night. This happened after Cincinnati finished the Paradise Jam tournament in third place. Cincinnati (*5-2, 76th*)beat Illinois State, lost to Bowling Green (OT), and then defeated Valparaiso (OT) in the Virgin Islands tournament.
Prior to the tourney, UC lost at Ohio State, and defeated Drake and Alabama A&M at home. The Bearcats will host Vermont (*5-3, 131st*) , tonight (12/3) at 7 PM. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
UC guard Jarron Cumberland (34) drives to basket in game vs. UNLV (*3-6, 160th* (Enquirer).
*Records are Division I only, rankings are from sports-reference and rate a total of 353 teams (Div. I)
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 Musketeers defeated the Creighton Blue Jays 63-61 Thursday in the Big East Quarterfinals. Xavier (18-14, 10-9, 88th) was able to advance to the semifinals thanks in large part to Zach Hankins. The center was 11 of 15 from the field, scoring 22 points, grabbing nine rebounds, and tipping in the game-winning shot. Naji Marshall (11) and Kyle Gastlin (10) scored in double-digits as well. Gastlin’s block at the end of the game sealed the victory. The Blue Jays (17-14, 9-10, 80th) were on the fence regarding the NCAA tournament, but now are on the outside. Creighton’s Ty-Shon Alexander scored 21 points in the loss. The Big East Tournament is down to four teams: Villanova, Xavier, Marquette, and Seton Hall. Xavier will play 6:30 PM Friday night versus Villanova (23-9, 14-5, 26th) at Madison Square Garden. TV: FS1 Radio: 550 WKRC
Xavier celebrates the 63-61 victory over Creighton (Brad Penner/USA Today Sports)
Xavier took care of St. John’s Saturday night 81-68. XU (17-14, 9-9, 94th) was able to beat the Red Storm (20-11, 8-10, 55th) the second time this season with help from Paul Scruggs and his 22 points. The Muskies’ played without star guard Naji Marshall, but that didn’t stop Scruggs or Ryan Welage (19) from scoring. Zach Hankins (12) and Tyrique Jones (10) also scored in double-digits, and had seven rebounds each. St. John’s was led by LJ Figueroa (20), Shamorie Ponds (19), and Justin Simon (13) in points. The Red Storm remain on the bubble, but are fading. Xavier, meanwhile, will have to win the conference tournament to get into the NCAA Tournament. X will play Creighton (17-13, 9-9, 70th) in New York City, Thursday at 2:30 p.m. in the Big East Tournament Quarterfinals. TV: FS1 Radio: 700 WLW
Zach Hankins (35) has raised the roof all year, and scored 12 points Saturday (AP/ John Minchillo).
2019 Big East Tournament
2018-19 Final Big East Standings
Note: There is a four-way tie for third, and a three-way tie for eighth. Tiebreaker here is overall record, but for conference tournament other tiebreakers are used.
Cincinnati lost a competitive matchup at UCF, 58-55. The Bearcats (25-5, 14-3, 16th) were led by Tre Scott and his 20 point effort. Scott shot nine of 15 from the field, two of three from long-range, and had nine rebounds. Jarron Cumberland added 10 points for UC, but shot less than 30% from the field (5-18). BJ Taylor had 22 points and six rebounds in his final home game for UCF (23-6, 13-4, 17th). Fellow senior Tacko Fall used his 7’6″ frame to score 10 points, grab six rebounds, and block three shots. UC’s Cane Broome came up short on a three-pointer which would have sent the game to overtime. The Cats’ will host Houston (28-2, 15-2, 4th) on senior day on Sunday at noon. TV: CBS Radio: 700 WLW.
UC’s Keith Williams (2) was held to four points at UCF (AP).
Xavier’s five-game winning streak was snapped at Butler Tuesday, losing 71-66. Butler (16-14, 7-10, 89th) avenged its earlier loss in front of a near-capacity crowd on senior night. The Musketeers (16-14, 8-9, 101st) were led by Tyrique Jones and Paul Scruggs who each had 13 points in a tightly contested matchup. Butler was led by Kamar Baldwin (24) and “crowd favorite” Paul Jorgenson (19) in scoring for the Bulldogs’ last home game. Xavier is now tied for fourth place in the Big East, and currently holds the tiebreaker over St. John’s. XU will host St. John’s (20-10, 8-9, 49th) Saturday for senior day/regular season finale at 5 PM. TV: FOX Radio: 700 WLW
Quentin Goodin (3) had seven points in the contest (Russo/USA Today).
Cincinnati was able to hold of a rally at Connecticut to win 64-60 Sunday. Keith Williams led UC with 12 points, while Justin Jenifer and Cane Broome each added 10 points for UC (23-4, 12-2, 15th). Broome had the game-clinching three-pointer in his hometown of Hartford. UConn (13-14, 4-10, 139th) was led by Christian Vital (14) and Alterique Gilbert (13) in scoring. The Bearcats entered the both mainstream polls this week (AP/Coaches’: No. 23/22). Cincinnati will play at SMU (13-13, 5-9, 144th) Wednesday night at 9 PM. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
Cane Broome’s clutch three-pointer clinched the game for UC (AP/Hill).
Xavier was able to hold on for a major victory at Seton Hall, 70-69 Wednesday. Naji Marshall’s 28 points led the way for XU (14-13, 6-8, 117th). Tyrique Jones was menacing, mainly in the first half. He finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds for a double-double. The Pirates (16-10, 7-7, 65th) were led by Myles Cale’s 21 points. Despite, a 16-point lead with under six minutes to play, Xavier allowed Seton Hall to come back. The Pirates had a good chance at winning but missed buzzer-beating shot. The Musketeers will continue with a tough matchup at home versus Villanova (20-7, 11-3, 22nd) Sunday at 1:30 PM. TV: CBS Radio: 550 WKRC
Naji Marshall’s 28 points led all scorers (The Enquirer).
Xavier avenged an earlier loss to Providence, by winning 75-61 in Rhode Island on Saturday. The Musketeers (13-13, 5-8, 126th) have won back-to-back games after besting Creighton earlier this week. Tyrique Jones had a double-double for Xavier, scoring 19 points and grabbing 12 rebounds. Naji Marshall (14), Zach Hankins (13), and Quentin Goodin (13) all were in double digits. Nate Watson had 16 points for the Friars (14-12, 4-9, 111th). Xavier plays Seton Hall (15-9, 6-6, 57th) on the road Wednesday at 7 PM. TV: CBSSN Radio: 700 WLW
Tyrique Jones (0) had 19 points and 12 rebounds Saturday (The Enquirer)