(Photo by Noah Francis)
A Friday Night Crowd at the Cintas Center was treated to an offensive performance that is rare at any level of Basketball.
Xavier started the game tonight hitting their first ten shots, and though they did eventually miss, the offense just kept on humming.
Kyky Tandy, who has had an up-and-down career during his time at Xavier had the student section going wild throughout the game. Tandy had 14 points in the game of 4-6 shooting, including 4-5 from three.
While Tandy had a game Xavier fans had long waited for, he wasn't alone. The usual big-time players did what Xavier nation has grown accustomed to. Zach Freemantle with 18 points, Jack Nunge with 15 including two three-point field goals made, and Colby Jones scored 12 points of his own, going 6/6 from the free-throw line.
Coach Sean Miller was very pleased with what he saw on the offensive side of the ball from his team. "The tone was set from the very beginning that we were going to have a bunch of guys committed to playing hard. Offensively, I can't say enough good things about tonight." "23 assists but single-digit turnovers, only nine turnovers. That right there is about as good as you can do."
On the other end of the floor, though the Musketeers held a big lead, Montana kept the game challenging for a while. The Grizzlies closed out the first half down 49-37, but as a team shot 48% from the floor and 55% from three. The second half was a different story as Xavier clamped down defensively giving up just 32% shooting, and forcing 10 turnovers.
"We knew we were playing well offensively, we knew we just had to lock in on the other end." Jack Nunge said to the media in the post-game presser "Coach (Miller) called us out, we were able to lock in defensively and do what we were supposed to do."
For a second consecutive performance to start the season Xavier showed a well-balanced team with the ability to use a deep rotation that helps them take control of performances. Obviously playing Montana and Morgan State may not be something the outside looking in will be surprised to see, this is a team building a foundation that can lead them to the success they've long been waiting for.
Xavier was able to get 20 bench points, including some highlights from Adam Kunkel and Desmond Claude with big dunks. Xavier had 16 fast break points, and also had 19 points off of turnovers.
Up next for Xavier, a late Tuesday night tip against Fairfield. Fairfield is 0-2 to start the season, the tip is at 9 PM est.