Xavier 71-65 tosu: Paul Scruggs is a killer

Xavier 71-65 tosu: Paul Scruggs is a killer

Are you not entertained? The self-styled faculty of the entire state, considered one of many state colleges in Ohio, however the workforce that declares themselves the one that every one Ohioans ought to help, the college with the most important superiority complicated within the nation deigned to come back down the freeway to tackle the perpetual underdogs. From the primary second, the Buckeyes will need to have felt the entice closing because the Cintas swelled with noise round them. By the top it was not an area that the Buckeyes have been coming right down to, it was a river. Paul Scruggs, the vicious, snarling, by no means stopping, beating coronary heart of the Xavier Musketeers was ready there to ship the baptism.
How do you want your basketball groups? If finesse and three level taking pictures, countless screens, and exquisite arcing jumpers are your factor, would possibly I recommend that this Xavier workforce is just not for you. The Musketeers completed 5-24 behind the arc and for lengthy stretches it felt like that quantity flattered them. Fairly basketball is enjoyable, it’s attractive, and generally it wins.
How do you want your basketball groups? If a screaming financial institution of scholars and a relentlessly attacking workforce are your type, in order for you a workforce that performs like a boxer that stands there and will get hit, then smiles again and throws a hammer of their very own, would possibly I recommend this Xavier workforce is for you. The Musketeers took a 2-0 lead and by no means trailed. They have been by no means tied. Ohio State got here out of the half and instantly reduce into the lead. The Buckeyes drew inside three late. Each time they made a run, Xavier stepped again, collected themselves, and threw again one thing constructed within the Huge East. This was a sport for grown males.
Colby Jones (7/12/3) was a kind of. Early within the sport Joel identified on Twitter that Jones was waving off assistance on EJ Liddell. That will be the EJ Liddell, OSU massive man, who entered the sport extremely hyped and touted. He was matched in opposition to an undersized Xavier ahead who was duly unimpressed. Sound acquainted? Chris Holtmann schemed early within the second half to get Liddell on another person. It labored and he appeared primed to blow up. Coach Travis Steele (who outcoached Holtmann all night time) schemed again to get Colby again on him. Liddell by no means bought going. As the sport grew, he shrank.
And what about Jack Nunge (14/14/0)? Nonetheless not absolutely match, attempting to place again collectively a profession derailed by damage and tragedy, Xavier’s seven footer got here to play. Dieonte Miles (2/0/0) was, maybe, too within the second and dedicated three unhealthy fouls. Nunge isn’t speculated to need to play massive minutes this yr, however he racked up 32 in Xavier’s largest sport up to now. Confronted with Ohio State’s vaunted entrance line, he was the most effective massive on the ground. He completed 5-8 contained in the arc, 4-8 from the road, and nonetheless standing when Zed Key and Liddell faltered round him.
Adam Kunkel (10/1/4) hasn’t discovered his stroke, however he was at his Kunkelian greatest tonight. There was no rebound he didn’t contest, no defensive project he didn’t need, no open man he didn’t discover. Dwon Odom (8/0/1) doesn’t have a stroke however he does have a blistering first step. When Xavier’s offense stagnated in the course of the second half, he went to the rim. The subsequent time he touched the ball, he went to the rim once more. There could be no let down, no blinking right here. Nate Johnson (12/3/2) was a hyperactive defensive menace who confirmed indicators his stroke is coming again. When OSU tried to the 2-3 zone to some impact, it was Johnson getting open and jarring a nook three that pulled them out of it.
Coach Travis Steele had a terrific night time as properly. When everybody anticipated Dieonte Miles to protect Liddell, he went with Colby Jones on isolation as an alternative. The choice paid off handsomely, as Xavier’s extra athletic guards and forwards destroyed the Buckeyes on the glass. Xavier collected 40% of their misses and 71% of Ohio State’s. When Holtmann labored Liddell open, Steele labored again closed. When the Buckeyes went 2-3 zone, Steele used an unofficial timeout to reconfigure his offense and get a excessive put up sport working. Two huge open appears (and one make) later, OSU was again within the man to man they knew they couldn’t play.
Lastly, Paul Scruggs. Scruggs is the final remaining tie to Xavier’s greatest groups ever, he performs with a foot nonetheless within the time of Zip Em Up. He performs along with his coronary heart on his sleeve and his ideas written throughout his face. Tonight, he demonstrated that there are very a lot nonetheless gangsters within the residence locker room. With 3:13 to play tonight and Xavier clinging to a one possession lead for the primary time since 12:00 to play within the first half, Scruggs went to work. He had struggled till then, nevertheless it didn’t matter. It was successful time. Enter Sandman was taking part in, and Xavier’s nearer had completed warming up.
First it was a drive and dish to Jack Nunge for a dunk. Ohio State answered, however regardless of, Scruggs was hardly completed. He left his man with a stagger step and went left for a excessive arcing layup. The digital camera reduce to him when he ran previous and he had the look of a person intensely centered. An Ohio State and one reduce it again to 4 after some Nunge free throws, so Paul deserted his man once more for one more layup. The Buckeyes hit a 3 to make it 65-62.
This was the time, this was when 5-24 would cripple the workforce, that is when all of the missed alternatives would lastly inform, Xavier Nation sucked in a collective breath, and Paul Scruggs referred to as for the ball on a superbly executed motion arrange by Coach Steele. A Nunge display screen. Open house. Paul Scruggs gathered his second and rose. EJ Liddell, the media golden boy, the main target of all of the hype, the opponent’s greatest participant, rose to fulfill him. When it was over, just one roaring physique emerged again above the water. Time was left on the clock, however the killer had spoken.

Picture by Andy Lyons/Getty Photos

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