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Xavier Bounces Back in Return to Cintas; Freemantle Hits Milestone

(Photo by Drew Horton/Xavier Gameday)

by Tim Daniel

Coming off a big tournament where Xavier faced off against some of the most talented teams in the country, the Musketeers returned home to get a dominant victory before they face yet another Power 5 opponent this weekend.

Xavier's offense was able to hop on the plane back home with the team as they shot the ball very well as a team tonight, but the Xavier defense played a big part in tonight's win, something Sean Miller and staff hope to see more of.

At the Under 8 Media timeout in the first half, Xavier had a 28-6 lead and had held Southeast Louisiana to just two made field goals. From there the Lions got a little bit of offense going, but the game was out of hand at that point.

The second half was a much closer matchup than the first, but Sean Miller credited that more to his team's lack of intensity once the score was highly in favor of the home team.

Going into the game, Xavier was playing their second straight game without Adam Kunkel from his concussion in the Duke game during the PK85. With Kunkel out, Coach Miller and staff decided to start a smaller lineup to counter SE Louisiana's three-point shooting ability by starting Desmond Claude over Zach Freemantle, with Freemantle coming off the bench. Xavier was able to combat their perimeter offense, though the Lions were eventually able to make seven threes as a team and make their stat line look more respectable with guard Matt Strange hitting four of the threes.

On the Xavier end, Colby Jones continued to do Colby Jones things. Jones three-point shooting has continued to be a success for the past four games as tonight he shot 40% from deep to help with his 16 points. Jones also had seven assists and four rebounds.

Zach Freemantle may have had a different role for the team tonight, but was able to continue his strong play through the season. Freemantle picked up his third double-double of the season with 15 points, twelve rebounds, and added five assists. Freemantle hit two free throws in the second half to become the school's 58th player in history to join the 1000-point club. Point Guard Souley Boum also had another double-digit scoring game with 15 points.

Now the Musketeers sit at 5-3 before their matchup this Saturday night with Bob Huggins and the West Virginia Mountaineers. WVU is currently 6-1 with victories over Pittsburgh and Florida. Tip-off will be at 7 PM EST and will be televised on FS1.

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