Goodin leads Xavier to 74-61 victory over Western Carolina

CINCINNATI (AP) — Quentin Goodin had a career-high 25 points and Jason Carter added 16, helping Xavier hold off Western Carolina 74-61 at Cintas Center.

Freshman forward Zach Freemantle added 13 for the Musketeers who were without leading scorer Naji Marshall who had a stomach virus. Marshall averages 16.9 points and 5.9 rebounds.

Xavier which was coming off an 80-78 loss at Wake Forest on Saturday, built an 11-point lead in the first half, but without Marshall they struggled to score. The Catamounts went on a 10-0 run and tied the score 21-21 late in the half.

The Musketeers went more than three minutes without scoring in the first half and missed nine straight shots. Second-leading scorer Paul Scruggs had five points and six turnovers in the half.

Xavier led by three at halftime behind Goodin’s 10 points, but the Catamounts built a seven-point lead within the first five minutes of the second half, prompting Musketeers coach Travis Steele to call two timeouts within 23 seconds.

The Musketeers responded with a 13-2 run over six minutes to regain the lead. A three-pointer by Carter put Xavier up 67-57 with 3:40 left.


Despite having four returning starters from last season, Xavier has struggled to find its rhythm on offense. The absence of Marshall was a factor on Wednesday, but taking care of the ball has been an ongoing issue. The Musketeers average more than 13 turnovers. On Wednesday, they had 11 of their 18 turnovers by halftime. The 18 turnovers are tied for the most since Xavier had 18 in a loss to Florida on Nov. 24. The season-high for the Musketeers is 21 in an overtime win over UConn on Nov. 22.


Western Carolina plays at Tennessee Tech on Saturday

Xavier visits TCU on Sunday.