Musketeers Comeback Comes Up Short Vs Creighton 78-71
On Saturday Afternoon at the Cintas Center, the Xavier Musketeers hosted the Creighton Blue Jays in a Big East battle. A Quad 1 opportunity, something Xavier desperately needed to take advantage of.
The Musketeers got off to a fast start leading 11-4 at the first media timeout of the game, and 17-9 at the U12 but Creighton didn't stay down for long with a charge of offense to get back into the game, and taking their first lead with 5:28 to go in the first half after a Ryan Kalkbrenner dunk. Xavier got the lead back when Quincy Olivari knocked down two free-throws but right after that, Creighton went on an offensive explosion with a two made 3's from Mason Miler, a Baily Scheierman jumper and Steven Ashworth getting a layup which gave Creighton the 38-29 lead going into the half.
Coming out of the half, Creighton's offense kept rolling scoring the first six points of the half extending their lead to 15 points. Olivari responded with a three for Xavier but then Creighton got Kalkbrenner to the rim for multiple screen and lobs that Xavier just didn't have the size to stop.
At the 16 minute mark the Musketeers went on a 7-0 run to get the score within eight points before Creighton went on another run to push the score to a 20 point deficit with 9:13 to go in the game.
Xavier was able to fight themselves back into the game cutting the difference all the way down to five points with just under two minutes left behind the consistent scoring of Dayvion McKnight, and tough defense, but couldn't knock down the needed shots to get the job done, falling to Creighton by a final of 78-71.
Creighton leans on skill of their big men:
Creighton outscored Xavier 40-30 in the paint. Ryan Kalkbrenner and Bailey Scheierman were both excellent this afternoon. Kalkbreener with 28 points and Scheierman with 16. On the Musketeers side Abou Ousmane, Gytis Nemeiksa and Sasa Ciani really struggled throughout the game. Ousmane had just two points while Nemeiksa and Ciani combined for just one shot attempt. Sean Miller leaned on Lazar Djokovic to close out the game.
McKnight keeps Muskies Alive:
Dayvion McKnight stepped up big to keep Xavier alive during Saturdays game. McKnight had 21 points with eight rebounds and five assists. McKnight also scored the final eight points for Xavier.
What's Next for Xavier?
Xavier will hit the road on Wednesday night to face Seton Hall at the Prudential Center. Earlier in the season Xavier beat Seton Hall 74-54 at the Cintas Center and have a chance to sweep the season series. Seton Hall will face Villanova on Sunday afternoon before they welcome Xavier. Tip-off for Wednesday will be at 7:00 PM Est and will air on the CBS Sports network.