SXU sports summary
While there was room for St. Xavier University in both the men’s and women’s NAIA Division II basketball tournaments, neither Cougars squad will need to free up additional space in the school’s athletic trophy case.
SXU’s men did advance into the second round of play in Point Lookout, Mo., last week but No. 10-ranked Midland (Neb.) University halted the Cougars’ progress on Friday. Despite a combined 35 points from senior Brad Karp and junior Jack Krieger, the Cougars dropped a 64-61 decision to the Warriors.
The fate of SXU’s women was a little worse, seeing as how that group of Cougars was knocked out on Day 1 of their tourney. Escorting SXU off the national stage was the College of the Ozarks, which handed down a surprisingly lopsided 68-43 defeat on Thursday at the Tyson Events center in Sioux City, Iowa.
SXU’s men opened play last Wednesday versus Cincinnati Christian University and fared quite well, as they jumped out to a 19-4 advantage and eventually pocketed an 87-71 triumph at the College of the Ozarks’ Keeter Gymnasium.
“We came out playing really aggressive,” said Krieger, who tallied a game-high 22 points for the No. 6-ranked Cougars. “Everyone on our team played hard, even the guys off the bench. We had some key rebounds and forced some big turnovers, and those are the little things that helped us get such a big lead early.”
The Eagles, who were making their initial appearance in the national tournament, slipped behind 24-8 before reeling off eight unanswered markers. SXU (30-5) countered with a 20-9 burst that carried it into intermission and regained momentum for the locals. Freshman Kyle Tackett’s buzzer-beating basket capped the run.
Cincinnati Christian recovered from that latest assault, though, to get back within 10 points of the Cougars midway through the second half. Following a timeout, SXU scored twice in a row, but the Eagles refused to fold; instead, they netted 12 of the game’s next 13 points to narrow their deficit to just four points.