(Photo Courtesy of Desmond Fischer/Xavier Newswire)
When you have two players with 20 point games, chances are your team is going to get the victory.... That's what Tyrique Jones and Naji Marshall did this evening. But, when you also add that Naji Marshall had 8 rebounds and seven assists to go along with those 20 points then victory is all but guaranteed.
The game didn't start very pretty for the Musketeers tonight. The team had three turnovers in the first 75 seconds of the game and missed their first two field goal and free throw attempts before grad transfer Jason Carter banked in a three point basket to get the team on the board and cut the Siena lead to 3. From there Xavier kept threatening to take the lead but Siena held them off behind the big half from sophmore guard Jalen Pickett. Xavier didn't get their first lead until 9:09 to go in the first half after a three point basket from Naji Marshall.
Going into the second half Xavier held a 42-33 lead after Jason Carter got a quick layup right before the buzzer. From there, Xavier took over and flexed their dominance. Marshall and Tyrique Jones lead the way combining for 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting but Naji was tapping into his all around skill picking up 4 assists and 3 rebounds. Marshall and Jones are the first Xavier duo to both score 20 points in a single game this season and first since January, 2019 against Marquette.
Xavier also forced 13 turnovers scoring 17 points off turnovers and also outscored Siena 42-20 in the paint. Xavier got big contributions from freshman Zach Freemantle with seven points and six rebounds off the bench and also grad transfer Bryce Moore's defensive tenacity helping out with making sure Pickett didn't take over the game for Siena.
Xavier now stands 2-0 on the young season before a Tuesday night matchup vs Missouri at Cintas Center. Tip-off is at 7PM.