Karp golden as he closes in on team record after SXU whips Silver Lake
The last time St. Xavier University played Silver Lake College of Wisconsin, the game was a nip-and-tuck affair in the first half that found the Cougars up just two points.
Sunday’s affair against Silver Lake would wind up being a stark contrast from the previous meeting.
Jumping out to an early 24-13 lead and never trailing in the game, No. 10- ranked St. Xavier rolled to a 113-64 win over Silver Lake in NAIA men’s basketball action on Bob Hallberg Court at the Shannon Center in Chicago.
Senior guard Brad Karp had the hot hand for the Cougars (14-2 overall/4-1 CCAC), scoring a game-high 26 points on 10-for-14 shooting from the field. With his 26 points, Karp is now just 42 points from breaking St. Xavier’s all-time scoring record of 2,517 points, which was set by Mike Walaszek in 1978.
Freshman point guard Kyle Huppe also had a solid outing Sunday, knocking down four three-pointers en route to 15 points on the afternoon. Junior guard Jack Krieger and sophomore guard Darius Draper (eight rebounds) both provided sparks off the bench, chipping in 14 and 12 points, respectively.
“We played well the whole game,” Cougars Coach Tom O’Malley said. “It was much different than our first meeting. Overall, I thought we played very well the whole game. Darius did a great job stepping in in for center Josh Mailer, who went down with a bad sprain early in the game.
“We have five guys in double figures today; that’s a first for us all year. And you sometimes don’t realize how valuable a player Brad Karp is. Jack, again, was solid for us off the bench.”
In addition, senior point guard Michael Simpson and sophomore forward Tony Core rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points apiece. The Cougars never trailed in the game after jumping out to the big lead in the game’s first eight minutes and then used a 24-10 run later in the frame to help build a 53-25 halftime advantage.
“The first half was especially good, holding them to 25 points,” he said. “We shot 54 percent from the first half and 35 percent from three-point range in the first half. We wound up finishing 60 percent from the floor and 43 percent from the three-point line.”
Those increases were due to St. Xavier continuing to pour it on in the second half, scoring 60 points after the break on 67 percent (24-for-36) shooting. It was a total team effort as 12 of the 13 Cougars to play Sunday scored at least two points toward the victory.
“The thing that is the most pleasing is that our second group is playing almost as well as our first group,” O’Malley said. “I think our bench has gotten much stronger.”