by Tim Daniel
The Zach Freemantle get-right game was a success and was also at the right time.
Xavier started the first four-minute war of the game pretty poorly, spotting Ball State a 7-2 lead, were 1/4 from the field, and all-worldly shooter Nate Johnson missed two free throws.
But from there, Xavier did was Xavier has done quite a bit this season at the Cintas Center. Dominate.
Coming out of the U16 in the first half, the Musketeers then went on an 11-0 run, and rode that momentum to a 22 point halftime lead. Zach Freemantle started cooking early in this one with 11 points on 5/7 shooting in the first half. Freemantle, tied with Nate Johnson to pace the team in scoring in the half while the team also shot 43% from deep and lead 45-23.
In the second half, the man referred to as "Big Frosty" Zach Freemantle began to look like his old self. Freemantle had 13 second-half points, was 4/4 from the field and 5/5 from the free-throw line. Freemantle ended the night with 24 points, 7 rebounds, and four assists. The game plan was to get him ready for the big game Saturday against In-city rival Cincinnati, and it looks like they accomplished just what they wanted.
As far as the rest of the team, you truly saw a Xavier team in sync on both sides of the ball, and when all things are clicking for the Musketeers, that's a team you don't want to play.
Nate Johnson was once again his usual self from the field, going 4/7 from deep... One could say the goblet was fire with that one. Or maybe it was just like grabbing the golden snitch. Okay, that's enough Harry Potter references, I promise.
Jerome Hunter, while still struggling to find his shot consistently from three decided tonight to attack the rim and not settle for jumpers. Hunter was only 1/4 shooting on the night but kept attacking the paint, and went 4/4 from the free-throw line.
One of the more impressive stats from this game was Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones combining for 17 rebounds. The Musketeers used these two getting rebounds to push the pace and challenge Ball State to keep up with them, which the Cardinals obviously did not succeed in doing so.
Ball State came into the game shooting 41% from 3 as a team. Xavier put a stop to that holding the Cardinals to 22.6% from deep and 29.7% overall from the floor.
Xavier ended up winning this one big by a final of 96-50, and now, we know what's next. The Crosstown Shootout.
The game of games in Cincinnati where trolling is at an all-time high, fan bases have twitter battles and history is brought up in multiple ways. This game every year is a night like no other, and we can't wait to be on site for this one. Tip-off is at 8:30 on Saturday, December 11th, and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
Oh yeah, Master P was at the Cintas Center tonight. That was cool.