Goodin Leads Xavier Past Detroit-Mercy 69-55
After a glaring lack of effort in a loss to Missouri this week, it was evident that Xavier needed more leadership both on and off the court. After having a players-only meeting, the Musketeers looked to bounce back against Detroit-Mercy before heading into Big East play. Even with Naji Marshall and Tyrique Jones sidelined due to injury, Quentin Goodin and company put their foot on the gas late in the second half to end the non conference schedule with a solid win.
The game took place in the Cintas Cinter on Friday, December 21st at 7pm. Even with the students out of class for winter break, it was definitely a solid crowd for the Musketeers. The first half saw a lot of back and forth between the two teams, as Xavier had to rely on Keonte Kennedy, Elias Harden, and Zach Hankins due to the absence of Marshall and Jones. However, Xavier was able to take a 32-26 lead going into the locker room at halftime. The Musketeers were paced by junior point guard Quentin Goodin, who finished the game with 21 points, 9 boards, and 9 assists.
In the second half, the Musketeers were able to tighten their defense up and not allow for second chance points for the Titans. The biggest turning point in the game occurred about midway through the second half, as Xavier was able to put together 16-3 run led by three Ryan Welage 3 pointers. Quentin Goodin also made the effort to put out a few highlight dunks. Despite a Titan run to close the game, the Musketeers were able to hang tight and come out with a well deserved win.
This game was a much needed tune up for a Musketeers team working to put the pieces together. Despite lacking two of their best players, Xavier was able to share the ball well offensively as they had assists on 20 of their 22 field goals. Quentin Goodin took ownership of the game as the team leader, and had key contributions from Welage and Hankins. The Musketeers look to continue this selflessness into a daunting Big East schedule that starts Saturday, December 29th at DePaul at 2:00 pm.