X Bounces Back to Defeat Illinois in Final Game in Maui
Quentin Gooden led Xavier with a team-high 15 points as the Musketeers broke a 3-game losing streak on Wednesday, defeating Illinois, 83-74, in the team's final game of the Maui Jim Maui Invitational at the Lahaina Center in Hawaii. The Muskies (3-3) showed great strides of improvement on both ends of the court having lost their first two games of the tournament to No. 9 Auburn and San Diego State earlier this week. X also got a big lift from its bench with sophomore Elias Harden notching a career-best 14 points on 5-of-7 FG and a perfect 4-of-4 from behind the arc.
For the game, XU shot the ball well, hitting on 31-of-54 for 57 percent from the field. X also converted 8-of-20 from 3-point range. The team executed with much better rhythm, ball movement, and interior penetration while making the extra pass. This translated into better flow and optimized shot selection both inside and outside. Xavier outscored the Illini 36-20 in the lane which was a big difference in the game.
Illinois freshman point guard Ayo Dosunmu led all scorers with a game-high 19 points.
The Muskies return to Cincinnati on Thanksgiving Day and are back in action next week as they play host to visiting Miami (OH) Redhawks on Wednesday. Game time is set for 6:30 p.m. at Cintas Center.