The inaugural Cornsword trophy has found a home in Cincinnati after Xavier’s 64-42 victory over the Northern Iowa Panthers. The Musketeers, who beat the Panthers in the Tire Pros Invitation championship game on Sunday, move to 6-0 on the season.
Northern Iowa is known as an elite shooting team, and Xavier was able to eliminate that from the start. UNI’s leading scorer, Jeremy Morgan, was held scoreless in the first half after dropping 20 on Xavier in Orlando. The Musketeers used a combination of Edmond Sumner and JP Macura to shut him down. Morgan would come alive in the second half however, finishing with 14 points.
Klint Carlson picked up two fouls early on for UNI but was inserted back into the game after the Panthers found themselves in an early 20-5 hole. His third foul came soon after his reintroduction.
Carlson’s limited minutes were a huge boost for the Musketeers, as he finished with just 11 points and three boards.
Macura led all scorers with his 18 points, turning in yet another efficient outing. The junior went 6-9 from the field, including 4-6 from deep, with four rebounds and three steals.
Similarly to their last matchup with the panthers, Xavier was able to control the glass, outrebounding UNI 42-20. Offensively and defensively the Musketeers size and length was just too much for Northern Iowa.
After shooting around 28 percent from deep this season, the Musketeers shot 36 percent (8-22) from distance in this contest. Macura, Sumner and Trevon Bluiett each connected on multiple shots from the perimeter.
Xavier also welcomed the return of sophomore forward Kaiser Gates, who adds length, defense, shooting, and most importantly, depth to the Musketeers roster. His debut was probably not what he had hoped for, picking up three fouls with zero points and two boards in 11 minutes. To his credit, he played great defense on the bigs of UNI.
The Musketeers will be back in action at Cintas Center on Tuesday, Nov. 29 against North Dakota State.