Xavier Battles Against Purdue But Come Up Short 83-71
Tonight, Xavier had their first true test of the season. A matchup on the road in the hostile Mackey Arena vs Zach Edey and the Purdue Boilermakers.
Xavier got in foul trouble in the second half, they didn't hit their threes throughout the game and had a few costly turnovers. But still had a promising performance and can give their fan base hope for the remainder of the season.
Trey Green is beginning to show why he was so highly coveted for Xavier. While 4/12 from the floor and 2/9 from the perimeter isn't going to look great on the box score the fearlessness and athleticism are so impressive, and were on display this game. Green also had a huge steal in the game and an awesome assist to Kachi Nzeh under the basket.
The other top freshman for this team continues to impress as well. Dailyn Swain followed his solid game Friday vs Jacksonville with a stellar performance tonight vs Purdue. The young freshman scored ten points shooting 4/7 from the floor and also had some flashes that will have the fan base fired up as he continues to grow.
The steal and the slam for Swain! pic.twitter.com/osZmyN20ke— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) November 14, 2023
Desmond Claude was able to shake off a struggling first half where he had just two points and four turnovers. In the second half, Claude score 13 points hitting two threes and only having one turnover.
Desmond Claude banks in the 3️⃣! pic.twitter.com/hlm3qj6Y8W— Xavier Basketball (@XavierMBB) November 14, 2023
When you play Zach Edey, you're gonna have physicality issues no matter your size. While Abou Ousmane played really solid against Edey throughout the game Monday night, Xavier sent Purdue to the line for 17 free throws in the second half, Eden the recipient of nine of those shots. Ousmane fouled out of the game with 8:04 on the clock.
Xavier struggled on the perimeter from both sides of the ball. Offensively, they were 7/25 from deep missing a handful of wide open shots in the corner through the game. Gytis Nemesika hit a big 3 to keep Xavier in the game but had two big misses right after that. On the defensive side, they allowed Purdue to shoot 7/15 from deep. Myles Colvin led the way from three going 3/3.
As mentioned earlier, this was an encouraging performance from Xavier, but there is still plenty of room for growth. Xavier will look to get back in the win column this Saturday at Midnight EST when they face the Washington Huskies in the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas. The Huskies are also 2-1 to start the year with wins over Bellarmine and Northern Kentucky, but a loss to Nevada. The game will be televised on ESPN2.