By Tim Daniel
The Classic, Cheesy sports cliche of it's not how you start it's how you finish was the best way to describe the matchup between Xavier and Kent St on Friday.
Going into halftime Xavier was losing 36-31 to the Golden Flashes. They had 12 turnovers, were shooting just 17% from range, and couldn't find an answer for Kent St's combo of Sincere Carry and Justyn Hamilton. Though, the team Musketeers did manage to pull off 24 rebounds as a team in the half and still managed to hold Kent St to just 40% shooting from the floor and 27% from the arch.
But in the second half, Xavier was locked in and very aggressive doing what they do best, playing aggressive defense, finding the open man on offense, and attacking the low post. Xavier outscored their opponent 42-23 in the second half and even held Kent St scoreless for a total of 5:38 while adding on to their lead. Paul Scruggs and Colby Jones both had big days for their team. Scruggs scored 23 points also added seven rebounds, three assists, two blocks, and three steals.
Jones had 19 points of his own and six offensive rebounds to go with his excellent shooting day. One of the nicer performances to jump out for the team was Adam Kunkel's playmaking ability with 4 big assists during Xavier's run including finding Colby Jones in the corner for a 3 and a dish to Paul Scruggs which lead to a layup and-1 opportunity.
Now, Xavier is 2-0 with a big win over a very experienced team where they managed to overcome adversity and settle in correcting a lot of their mistakes. Now, they have an extended period to prepare for their matchup with #17 Ohio State. That game is Thursday 11/18 with a 6:30 Tip-off.