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Xavier tops #2 Connecticut in Big East Showdown 83-73


(photo by Xavier Gameday)

By: Parker Fields

Let's just start this off by saying one word.

WOW.

This game had everything as two top 25 teams battled and it was quite the showdown on the court. This game started off with a Xavier offensive masterclass. Through the first 10 mins of the game Xavier was shooting nearly 70% from the field. To go along with their defense, Xavier was holding Uconn to just 37% from the field up to this point. Xavier was playing so well offensively that they even had a 36-26 lead with just a few minutes left in the first half. This however was when everything changed. Uconn found the three ball and they found it fast. Uconn went on a 16-5 run to end the half and went into halftime with a 42-41 lead after trailing just about the whole half. For the half Xavier shot 58% from the field and 57% from three. Uconn shot 47% from the field and 42% from three. With those stats it's pretty crazy that Uconn had the lead, right? Here's why.

Uconn won the rebounding battle 18-13 and got up an extra 10 shots on Xavier. Simply, Uconn got a lot more shot attempts which in turn resulted in more points, even if Xavier shot the higher percentage.

Xavier was led by Zach Freemantle with eleven points and six rebounds. Uconn was led by Adama Sanogo with 10 points.

Overall, this first half was filled with a lot of action and we knew we were in for a great second half.

The second half started off with back to back threes from Uconn and it looked like it was about to start turning in their favor. This however, did not insue the rest of the way. Xavier and Uconn went back and forth trading buckets, and no team gained a lead more than a couple points. This back and forth battle of trading baskets lasted until the game was tied at 73 with 3:58 left to play.

From there, Xavier did not allow Uconn to score a single point. Xavier played stifling defense down the stretch and didn't allow Uconn many good looks. This defensive effort at the end of the game show Xavier's ability to defend when everybody is locked in and engaged. Xavier hit some free throws and this game was over. Xavier went onto score the last ten points of this game and win by a score of 83-73.

It was over, Xavier had beat the #2 team in the country and one of their biggest wins in school history. Cintas Center was rocking today, and it was one of the most electric atmospheres I have ever seen.

Xavier was led by Zach Freemantle with 16 points, 11 rebounds, and 5 assists. Colby Jones also pitched in 16 points.

Uonn was led by their star big man Adama Sonogo who had 18 points and 6 rebounds. Andre Jackson Jr. pitched in a near triple double with 14 points, 10 rebounds, and 8 assists.

#22 Xavier will now travel to Villanova next Saturday for another Big East showdown. It should be a fun season for Xavier fans as they look to win a Conference title.

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