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Xavier Fights to the End, Comes up Short vs Hoosiers 81-79

(Drew Horton/Rooted Creative)

by Tim Daniel

Although the night did not turn out in the Musketeers' favor, this is what College Hoops is all about.

A Top 15 team in the country comes into the Cintas Center with a three-time all Big Ten player leading the way and scoring 30 points, but the team did not stop fighting.

Indiana had many chances to flex their muscle and put this one away, but the team wasn't going down that easy.

Multiple players in foul trouble, issues keeping the Hoosiers off the offensive boards, but yet, they kept fighting.

But with that being said, there are no moral victories.

Xavier's defensive issues reared their head, giving up multiple extended scoring runs to Indiana and making winning the game just a little harder. Trayce Jackson-Davis was able to challenge Xavier's big man Jack Nunge for the majority of the game and took a handful of rebounds right out of Nunge's hands.

After Souley Boum picked up his fourth foul of the night Xavier was playing a bit of a scramble mode, having to have coach Miller get creative with how he used his rotation the rest of the way. A lot of subbing in and out for defense to offensive possessions, and going deeper into their bench while trying to develop those players.

One thing that you can tell just felt different about this team was how much Colby Jones was on the court. Jones hadn't practiced for a week going into the game, and although he did foul out, still managed to play his usual stat-stuffing ways with 13 points, seven rebounds, six assists, three steals, and two blocks.

Now Xavier sits at 3-1 after taking their first loss since the first round of the Big East Tournament in March. Up next, the Musketeers open the PK85 in Portland, Oregon against the Florida Gators. The winner of that game goes on to play the winner of Oregon State and Duke.

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