by Tim Daniel
Tonight's Xavier team gave you a sample of just who they can be when they are clicking on all cylinders.
Well-balanced scoring, making the extra pass leading to 25 assists as a team, and forcing 14 turnovers. All of this is a recipe for success and the signs of a 10-1 team heading into Big East play.
As a team, Xavier shot 46% from deep, including a nice shooting game from Adam Kunkel, who had 12 points on 4/9 shooting from the arch. Kunkel has found a rhythm of sorts over the last few games which have been excellent timing moving forward.
Jerome Hunter had his first night as the star of the show since joining the Musketeers. Hunter scored 15 points on 6/11 shooting which lead the team, but most importantly, Jerome didn't settle for shots and took advantage of what the defense was giving them.
While the Musketeers were getting some big points across the board, their point guard play was stellar. Paul Scruggs only had seven points, but he also had six rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a blocked shot. When Scruggs wasn't the lead ball-handler, Dwon Odom stepped in and lead the way. Odom also had six assists tying his career-high but also had two steals and blocked a couple of shots.
Following up his dominant performance in Saturday's Crosstown Shootout, Jack Nunge came back and kept the good vibes rolling with 13 points off the bench, was 7-7 from the free-throw line, and also had seven rebounds to add to his stat sheet. Colby Jones had 14 points, had a few solid dunks showing off his athleticism, and was 6-9 from the floor.
Overall, Xavier did have to get a little more locked in against Morehead St. The Eagles came into the second half forcing turnovers and starting on a 6-0 run before Travis Steele called a timeout. The Musketeers held a 47-19 lead going into halftime, but Morehead State managed to outscore Xavier 44-39 in the second half.
Morehead State saw big games from forward Johni Broome who had 20 points and twelve rebounds, and also guard Tray Hollowell scoring 19 points. Overall, Morehead State managed to shoot just 41% from the field and also had 16 team fouls.
Up next for Xavier, the Big East opener at home this Saturday against Shaka Smart and his Marquette Golden Eagles. Marquette is currently 8-3, and last played against UCLA last Saturday where they lost 67-56. Tip-off will be at 4:00 PM and will be broadcast on FS1.