Xavier was led by the duo of Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones. Scruggs led Xavier with 17 points and six assists, shooting 50 percent from the field and the three-point line. Jones finished close behind with 16 points, three steals and five rebounds. Dieonte Miles clogged the middle, recording seven rebounds, two blocks and nine points. Jones, meanwhile, dropped 19 on a 6-for-8 mark from the floor. He also went 6-for-7 from the free throw line, pulled in eight boards, and had an assist too.
That’s not meant as a slight, simply a recognition that they land near the middle of the national pack in nearly everything. Last year’s team offensive rebounded well and knocked down their free throws. Enough pieces have returned to indicate that will be the bunksat case again. Descending down the ladder, Jack Nunge was the only other Musketeer in double figures. Nunge scored 11 points off the bench and needed only 15 minutes to do so. The model has simulated Xavier vs. Kent State 10,000 times and the results are in.
“… We were hard-hedging . So we were putting two guys on the ball and then we’d get too spread out.” “Early they were getting us spread out too much,” said Steele. “Sincere Carry is a tremendous guard, he transferred in from Duquesne. He was dominating the game early.
It was the first little glimpse of what Xavier could be this season when they play complete basketball. Miles didn’t score and only recorded three rebounds but his defense changed the game, and Nunge finally got fed in the low post and finished with 11 points and six rebounds. If they held pent-up frustration because of a slow start in the Mid-American Conference, the Flashes worked it out for at least one night. They came in shooting 37% in their first five league games and 21% on 3-pointers. Against the Zips, the Flashes shot 46% from the floor and 41% on 3-pointers (9-of-22). It’s never difficult to predict what will happen in a University of Akron-Kent State men’s basketball game.
“We were able to get the ball into the post to Jack Nunge, who was tremendous, and Dieonte Miles,” said Steele. “Where I’m most proud about our group is we were unflappable,” said Steele. Xavier needed to win by 9 points or more to cover the spread.
Xavier head coach Travis Steele celebrated his 40th birthday with a win over Kent State that started poorly but ended with an emphatic second-half surge from his Musketeers. Sofascore.com in partnership with U-TV offers over 140,000 live streaming events per year. With the win over Kent State, Akron not only earns bragging rights against their rivals, but also earns an automatic bid to the NCAA Division I Men’s Basketball Tournament.
However, they held the Purple Eagles to six assists, which was a marked improvement over last year, when opponents averaged 14.7 per game. Xavier and Kent State last met in 2017, when the Musketeers won convincingly, 96-70. Odom’s had a hard time getting going in the first two games, but when he does find it, Xavier’s going to have another weapon at its disposal at both ends of the floor. There was one play that stood more than the rest and on this particular play, the basketball was nowhere near the Belmont transfer.
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