Scruggs' Strong Night Leads Muskies to 4th Straight Win
The Maui trip for Xavier starts to get farther into the rearview with every game. The three game home stand has been kind to the Muskies as they have rattled off 3 wins in as many bouts. In a night where several key players were out with illness including starting PG Quentin Goodin. Tonight, it was Paul Scruggs picking up the primary ball-handling duties with 21 points on 8-9 shooting from the field to go along with 5 rebounds, 8 assists, and 4(!) steals against the Ohio University Bobcats. Coupled with the 17 point effort from Naji Marshall, the Musketeers were able to overcome a stingy Bobcat team and grind out an 82-61 victory in the Cintas Center.
The first half was not one that instilled confidence in the, once again, sold out crowd at Cintas. Bobcats leading scorer Jason Carter paced the team with 11 in the first half. As a team, the Bobcats shot 50% from the field. Luckily, Scruggs' strong night was balanced in both halves as he already had 10 at the break supported by Ryan Welage's 3-4 effort from 3-point range.
The second half saw the Muskies secure and sustain their advantage for a majority of the time. A 9-1 run Xavier run at the 8 minute mark put the lead into double digits and ultimately became out of reach for the Mid-American Conference Bobcats. It continued to be poured on from the likes of Marshall and Tyrique Jones who helped contribute to a smoldering 72.7% shooting clip in the second half.
THINGS TO WATCH:
- Tyrique Jones went down with a hard charge call that proves to be concerning. The junior is now in concussion protocol with updates to come from Xavier's camp.
- Quentin Goodin missed this game and Zach Hankins was limited after they both missed practice earlier this week due to illness. Their health will be a large question mark coming into this Saturday's significant matchup.
- This Saturday, the Crosstown Shootout travels back to Fifth Third Arena. Xavier will face the University of Cincinnati Bearcats in their 86th overall meeting. Both teams have looked drastically different after losing a multitude of key players to the NBA and graduation. Expect the Bearcats' stadium to be standing room only and enjoy the game on ESPN2 at 2:00PM on Saturday.