X Drops Falls to DePaul in First BIG EAST Loss of Season
By Andy Mac Williams, 1/18/2023

Brutal Night for the Muskies in Chicago!! Maybe life on the road in the BIG EAST? Whatever it was, I'd like to forget it. Xavier loses 73-72 to DePaul. Thanks to my intrepid cable provider Alta Fiber, I had to leave home to watch the game. They had 12 hours to repair the FS1 feed and failed miserably. Luckily, Bucketheads in Green Township has copious TVS and a good salmon salad. XU roared out of the gate 7-0 vs DU and led 13-8 at the 1st media time-out. That ends the good news. Give DU some credit, I guess? They got decent PG play from new guy Caleb Murphy(1st game back from wrist surgery). That freed up Umoja Gibson to play off the ball and he burned X for 17 points in 1st half and 22 on the game. Javan Johnson added 14 in half #1. Gibson and Johnson banged in 8 3 pointers between them(7 in 1st half). Muskies trailed 45-40 at the break-outscored 24 to 6 from "3".

Muskies were better defensively in 2nd half shutting off the "3s" but DePaul did damage around the rim instead w/ De'Shaun Nelson and Eral Penn combining for 16. Penn killed X w/ a couple late scrappy offensive rebounds. XU shot it poorly "3"(20%) and from "2" (45%).

Muskies got below par shooting games from PG Souley Boum (1-12 FG, just 4 points) and Colby Jones(3-14 FG, only 8 points). The BIGS did OK( Zach w/ 18 and 12, Jack w 16 and 13). Jerome Hunter potted 10 off the bench but was limited late w/ foul probs.

Hey-Xavier had 10 more shots. Should have won! Plus 11 on the glass. All sorts of misses on open "3s" and arpund the rim. Again, Give DU props for pressuring Boum and giving him few clean 3 point looks.

Souley could not get his driving lay-ups to fall including a slash from the left wing w/ under 10 seconds to play that came up short then X missed to tip tries trailing 73-72. A tie-up ensued w/ 2.9 ticks left. Possession arrow to DePaul.

Coach Miller put Nunge on the in-bounds passer and X forced a turnover w/ 1.9 left. The O.B play went high crosscourt to Nunge-got deflected-ball game over. It hurts any time you lose to DePaul. Muskies still lead BIG EAST at 7-1. 15-4 overall, 4-1 on the road. The 11 game winning streak is kaput though.

XU needs to stop the bleeding quickly Saturday at Cintas vs Georgetown(Noon Tip-FS1). UConn and Creighton are lurking on the road next week. DePaul is XU's 1st NET bad loss so far. Around BIG EAST- Seton Hall overcame a 16 point halftime deficit-nipping UConn near the buzzer 67-66 on a K C Ndefo stickback. Conn has now lost 5 of 6 after starting the season 14-0.

Danny Hurley sat out w/ COVID. Former XU assistant Luke Murray ran the bench for Huskies. Marquette topped Providence 83-75 in Milwaukee.

BIG EAST Standings-XU(7-1), Marquette(7-2), PC (6-2), Creighton (5-3), Seton Hall (5-4), UConn (4-5), St Johns, Villanova and DePaul (3-5), Butler (3-6), Georgetown (0-8).

We'll have a Scout on Georgetown Friday PM. I'm sending AltaFiber a bill for my salmon salad and large Yuengling but if I'd been home. I probably would have smashed something so the cable guys saved me money.

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