Xavier (18-10) at Saint Louis (22-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 28th, 9:00 p.m. (et).
FACTS & STATS: Site: Chaifetz Arena (10,600) -- St. Louis, Missouri. Television: CBSSN. Home Record: Xavier 12-3, St. Louis 14-1. Away Record: Xavier 5-6, St. Louis 5-5. Neutral Record: Xavier 1-1, St. Louis 3-0. Conference Record: Xavier 9-5, St. Louis 10-4. Series Record: Xavier leads, 28-13.
GAME NOTES: A dominating team at home this season, the Saint Louis Billikens shoot for their 15th victory at Chaifetz Arena as they clash with Atlantic 10 Conference foe Xavier.
The Billikens, who entered the week second in the A-10 standings with a record of 10-4, went into last weekend cruising along on a six-game win streak, but the team had to go to Rhode Island to face the Rams and the meeting didn't go as planned as the visitors suffered a 64-62 setback. In true road games this season, the Billikens are an even 5-5 and just 4-3 in conference road tests with a trip to Duquesne still remaining on the regular-season schedule for this weekend.
The Musketeers, tied with St. Bonaventure for third in the conference standings with a record of 9-5, has lacked consistent play over the last three weeks or so, alternating wins and losses over the course of seven games. On Saturday, the team was due for a win and that's exactly what it claimed with a 65-57 final versus Richmond at home.
With respect to the all-time series between these two schools on the hardwood, Xavier leads by a count of 28-13, even though it was Saint Louis that logged a 73-68 win on the road last month.
Kenny Frease registered season highs with 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Musketeers on Saturday as he helped guide the team to an eight-point win over Richmond at home. Tu Holloway scored just two points through the first 20 minutes of action but then came alive in the second half to finish with 14 points, but for the most part the game was well under control from the jump as Xavier began the meeting on a 16-0 run. In conference games this season, Holloway is the top man for the Musketeers with his 16.1 ppg and while his 89.7 percent shooting at the free-throw line is an impressive mark, his 31.9 percent beyond the arc is not so much. Thanks to Mark Lyons (14.7 ppg) and his 40.3 percent shooting on the perimeter, the team as a whole is a more respectable 37.4 percent and considerably better than the opposition at only 34.3 percent.
Saint Louis led by as many as 13 points in the first half against Rhode Island at the Ryan Center, but then the Billikens made a mere 29.6 percent from the floor and 5-of-16 behind the three-point line after the break and coughed up a game that should have gone into the win column. Dwayne Evans recorded a double-double with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, followed by Kwamain Mitchell with 12 points and both Brian COnklin and Cody Ellis with 10 in the setback. Conklin has been the leader on offense for the majority of the season, but in the two games before the loss to URI he scored a combined eight points and has been held to 10 or less in four straight and is now scoring just 13.7 ppg. Mitchell, who leads the group in scoring in conference play with 12.5 ppg, checks in with 12.0 ppg and is also the one who keeps the rest of his teammates involved with 101 assists over 28 starts.
By holding opponents to just 56.4 ppg this season, the Billikens are always giving themselves a chance to win. However, because Xavier can still make some significant movement before the end of the regular season, expect the Musketeers to give it their all tonight.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Xavier 62, Saint Louis 58
02/28 10:48:39 ET