X Edged by Creighton on the Road
Xavier's return to the winning side of the ledger lasted just one game as Creighton knocked off the Musketeers, 77-66, on Sunday afternoon at CHI Health Center in Omaha. The Blue Jays opened the game on a 10-1 run and never looked back. For the second straight game, Xavier started three big men on its front line -- Tyrique Jones, Zach Freemantle, and Jason Carter -- and the strategy worked on the glass. XU outrebounded Creighton 45-28, and Xavier got strong performances from Freemantle and Jones. But, it was not enough as defense and turnovers were the difference in the game. Freemantle recorded career-highs of 18 points and nine rebounds. Jones added a double-double, his 11th of the season, with 11 points and 13 boards. With Sunday's loss, Xavier has now dropped four of its last five games.
As a team, Xavier struggled to take care of the ball, make good decisions, and contain Creighton. On the turnover front, XU had 15 compared to 9 for Creighton. X failed to contain Creighton on transition defense, dribble drives, often fouling, and allowing Creighton to exploit their 3-point game. Creighton scored 14 points on fast break points (compared to 0 for Xavier), notched 11 3-point field goals, and the Jays got to the line and converted over double of that for the Muskies (Creighton: 20-of-26 FT; Xavier: 8-11 FT).
The Musketeers look to get back on the winning side of the ledger when it plays host to Marquette on Wednesday Xavier will look to get revenge from the Golden Eagles' 85-65 dismantling of the Musketeers earlier in January. Game time is set for 8:30pm at Cintas Center.