Providence Shocks Xavier in Trap Game
Xavier looked utterly flat on Saturday afternoon against the Providence Friars. A season high 24 points from grad-transfer Kerem Kanter was not enough to surmount the flatness and Providence had a balanced attacked to protect home court. At the end of the day, the Musketeers left the Dunkin Donuts Center with an 81-72 loss.
The first half saw Xavier come out with an awkward, lacking energy that Xavier fans have grown accustomed to in lesser games. Providence dominated the tempo, got their shots cleanly and hit them when they got them. By halftime, Xavier was fortunate to only be down 40-32.
Kyron Cartwright then took over in the second half. By the end of the game, he had 19 points, 9 assists, and four steals and a victory. Kerem Kanter also caught fire and at one point had 10 consecutive Xavier points to keep them afloat but they would get no closer than 6 down the stretch and the best start to a season in Musketeer history came to an abrupt end.
Despite outrebounding Providence and crushing them with second chance point, the downfall of the Muskies was the guard play. Seniors Trevon Bluiett and JP Macura combined for a modest 21 points, Quentin Goodin had only 10 and wing Kaiser Gates put up a goose egg.
This could very well just be a trip game for a team looking towards a very likely top-10 matchup with Big East rival Villanova. Hopefully that is the case because, if not, the Wildcats could pick this team apart on Wednesday.