Ok, everybody do it with me. Breathe in…1…2…3…breathe out…1…2…3. Xavier won the game, and that’s what matters. It wasn’t pretty, but at the end of the day Xavier had more points than the other guys, and that means the Musketeers will advance to take on Clemson tomorrow.I warned you all yesterday that freshman Frankie Hughes was a player to keep an eye on, and he did a number against Xavier. He led Missouri in points, 24, and minutes, 41, while collecting five boards and dishing three assists.
The biggest story of the afternoon was abysmal three point shooting, but story 1A was foul trouble. Xavier was 2-22(!!!) from deep, reminiscent of that horrible night at Creighton last season. However, the boys of Norwood ended up on the winning side of this tense, overtime game.
RaShid Gaston and Tyrique Jones fouled out before the extra period, and Trevon Bluiett played nearly the entire second half with four fouls.
Students everywhere kept one eye on class and one eye on their laptops…eh who are we kidding, even the professors probably knew something stressful was going on when the class was biting their fingernails. But as those 2:30-3:45 classes were wrapping up, Edmond Sumner was going to the line to shoot nail-biting free throws with three tenths of a second left in overtime and the game tied. He made the second, giving Xavier a one point edge and Missouri couldn’t manage a shot as the clock expired.
JP Macura was huge to say the least, scoring 19 points and delivering a couple crucial assists. Also not to be forgotten, JP called a timeout with less than two seconds to go in OT when Sumner was charging down the court and about to shoot a half-court shot. Macura had the presence of mind to get a timeout, and that led to the inbounds play in which Missouri committed a horrendous foul to send Sumner to the line.
Speaking of Sumner…
Xavier won 83-82.
What’s Next – Xavier vs. Clemson, Friday at 1:30 on ESPNU
So, Clemson is a much better team than Missouri. Clemson beat Davidson 95-78 behind a standout performance from Avry Holmes.
Player to Watch: Holmes had himself a game on Thursday, but the Tigers have quite a star in Jaron Blossomgame. Xavier will have to keep him in check.
I feel pretty good in saying Xavier will not shoot 9% from three every game. The defense was good against Missouri, contrary to what the high score might indicate.
If Xavier can keep it up on defense, and stay out of foul trouble, the shots will start to fall eventually. If not, it could be a long game against Clemson.
1:30 tomorrow everyone. There’s a game at 11:30, so the start time might get pushed back like it did today.