Xavier takes down cold-shooting Saint Mary’s in Las Vegas


Dayvion McKnight had 10 of his 14 points in the second half in Xavier’s 66-49 victory over Saint Mary’s on Sunday in the consolation game of the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas.

Xavier (3-2) made 57.1 percent of its shots (16 of 28) from the field in the second half to pull away. The Musketeers shot 48.2 percent (27 of 56) overall.

They were also led by Quincy Olivari’s 12 points and Desmond Claude’s 11 points and seven assists.

Saint Mary’s (2-3) lost its third straight game.

The Gaels were held to 23.5 points below their average of 72.5 entering the game. They shot 25.7 percent from the field (18 of 70), including 5-of-23 from 3-point range.

Augustus Marciulionis had 14 points and Joshua Jefferson 13 to lead Saint Mary’s. They combined to shoot 9-of-28 from the field.

St. Mary’s star Aidan Mahaney was held to seven points on 2-of-13 shooting before fouling out.

After Xavier led 18-12 with 9:21 left in the first half, Marciulionis scored six consecutive points to tie the game.

Xavier then closed the final 4:50 of the half by scoring the last 10 points. Trey Green, who finished with 10 points, made a layup and three free throws during the run to give the Musketeers a 28-18 lead.

Saint Mary’s missed its last 12 shots of the half and shot 21.2 percent overall in the half.

The Gaels’ cold spell extended into the second half, when they missed their first four shots from the field.

The 0-for-16 stretch ended when Mitchell Saxen made a jumper with 17:57 left, cutting the deficit to 32-20.

Saxen led Saint Mary’s with 14 rebounds, tying a career high. The Gaels outrebounded Xavier 50-40.

Despite that rebounding edge, the Musketeers outscored Saint Mary’s 32-24 in the paint, largely because of the Gaels’ poor shooting matched with Xavier heating up from the field.

Xavier started to pull away after making 10 of its first 14 shots from the field in the second half.

Sasa Ciani capped that stretch with a layup that gave the Musketeers a 48-29 lead with 10:41 remaining.