OAK
XAVIER

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Marshall leads balanced Xavier past Oakland, 73-63

CINCINNATI (AP) Xavier still is learning under first-year head coach Travis Steele, and maintaining defensive intensity for 40 minutes is something he continues to hammer home.

On Saturday afternoon in Cintas Center, Naji Marshall scored 14 points and Tyrique Jones, Ryan Welage and Zach Hankins each scored 11 lifting the Musketeers past Oakland 73-63.

Xavier Hill-Mais scored 22 of his team-leading 30 points in the first half. Braden Norris added 14 points for underdog Oakland which was within three points late in the second half.

''Our defensive effort needs to be a lot better,'' Steele said. ''We've got to fix it. I told our guys in the locker room, we put 40 minutes together one time this year, against Miami (OH). That's not going to work.''

Oakland (3-5) made three of its first four three-point attempts to build an 11-4 lead. The Grizzlies finished the game 11 of 28 from distance.

''We threw some stuff at them that confused them,'' said Oakland head coach Greg Kampe. ''When it counted, they made the plays they needed to make.''

The Musketeers (5-3) had no answer for Hill-Mais in the first half. But limited him to only six shot attempts after halftime. It was his third time scoring 30 or more points this season.

''I thought Hill-Mais' catches were tougher in the second half,'' Steele said. ''I thought the effort level just wasn't good enough in the first half.''

The Musketeers turned up their defensive intensity coming out of halftime. Paul Scruggs had two steals which resulted in layups helping them build an 11-point lead. He scored 10 points.

''Our intensity on the defensive end picked up,'' said Marshall. ''But we have to put 40 minutes together to be the team we can be. There's no excuse for it, we just have to get it done.''

The Grizzlies got hot again from the perimeter. Karmari Newman's third 3-pointer cut Xavier's lead to 53-50 with 12:42 left.

Scruggs picked up his fourth foul with 8:32 left limiting the Musketeers' defense. He fouled out with two minutes left.

It was still a two-possession game when Welage hit a 3-pointer with 39 seconds left to seal the win for Xavier.

''I don't think we saw any progress going from the Miami game (on Wednesday) to today,'' Steele said. ''That's disappointing.''

BIG PICTURE

Oakland: The Grizzlies still are looking for more scoring production outside of Hill-Mais and Norris who score more than half of their points through eight games. They combined for 44 of the Grizzlies' 63 points on Saturday.

Xavier: The Musketeers who blew a 19-point lead in a loss to San Diego State in the Maui Classic earlier this month, nearly blew an 11-point lead in the second half on Saturday when Oakland rallied to within three.

MISSING PIECE

Xavier was without sophomore guard Elias Harden on Saturday due to illness. Harden is 8 of 17 from 3-point range making him a valuable option off the bench. He is expected to return to practice on Monday.

SHARPSHOOTER

The Musketeers prepared to guard Norris but he still went 4 of 6 from three-point range on Saturday to improve to 19 of 24 for the season.

''We left him open for rhythm threes,'' said Steele. ''It happened first play of the game. He's an elite level shooter. You have to be there on the catch. When you give guys like that good looks early, they gain confidence.''

BALANCE

While Oakland got most of its points from Hill-Mais and Norris, the Musketeers had six players in double-figures. Kyle Castlin, a grad transfer from Columbia, scored 10 points for the first double-figure scoring game of his Xavier career. It's the first time Xavier has had six players in double-figures since Jan. 13, 2018 against Creighton.

UP NEXT

Oakland plays at Fairfield on Thursday.

Xavier hosts Ohio on Wednesday to conclude a three-game homestand before playing at crosstown rival Cincinnati on Dec. 8.

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Key Players
Min. Per Game
Pts. Per Game
Ast. Per Game
Reb. Per Game
Field Goal %
Three Point %
Free Throw %
  Defensive rebound by Tyrique Jones 9.0
  Braden Norris missed 3-pt. jump shot 11.0
  Offensive rebound by James Beck 19.0
  Karmari Newman missed 3-pt. jump shot 21.0
+ 1 Quentin Goodin made 2nd of 2 free throws 26.0
  Quentin Goodin missed 1st of 2 free throws 26.0
  Personal foul on Braden Norris 26.0
  Defensive rebound by Tyrique Jones 30.0
  Jaevin Cumberland missed 3-pt. jump shot 32.0
+ 3 Ryan Welage made 3-pt. jump shot, assist by Quentin Goodin 37.0
  Defensive rebound by Tyrique Jones 1:07
Team Stats
Points 63 73
Field Goals 25-56 (44.6%) 25-55 (45.5%)
3-Pointers 11-28 (39.3%) 4-15 (26.7%)
Free Throws 2-7 (28.6%) 19-23 (82.6%)
Total Rebounds 28 38
Offensive 8 12
Defensive 20 26
Team 0 0
Assists 15 12
Steals 4 9
Blocks 3 1
Turnovers 11 8
Fouls 18 14
Technicals 0 0
30 PTS, 8 REB
14 PTS, 5 REB, 2 AST
12T
away team logo Oakland 3-5 362763
home team logo Xavier 5-3 413273
Team Stats
away team logo Oakland 3-5 76.0 PPG 34.2 RPG 16.9 APG
home team logo Xavier 5-3 72.0 PPG 38.7 RPG 14.8 APG
Key Players
14
X. Hill-Mais F 18.6 PPG 6.9 RPG 2.4 APG 53.3 FG%
13
N. Marshall F 14.3 PPG 6.7 RPG 3.5 APG 41.3 FG%
Top Scorers
X. Hill-Mais F 30 PTS 8 REB 0 AST
N. Marshall F 14 PTS 5 REB 2 AST
44.6 FG% 45.5
39.3 3PT FG% 26.7
28.6 FT% 82.6
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
X. Hill-Mais 30 8 0 13/21 2/6 2/2 3 36 0 2 5 3 5
B. Norris 14 3 8 5/8 4/6 0/0 2 37 1 0 1 0 3
J. Cumberland 8 0 4 3/11 2/7 0/0 1 37 0 0 3 0 0
J. Nobles 0 4 1 0/4 0/2 0/0 3 22 0 0 0 1 3
B. Brechting 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 17 0 1 1 0 0
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
X. Hill-Mais 30 8 0 13/21 2/6 2/2 3 36 0 2 5 3 5
B. Norris 14 3 8 5/8 4/6 0/0 2 37 1 0 1 0 3
J. Cumberland 8 0 4 3/11 2/7 0/0 1 37 0 0 3 0 0
J. Nobles 0 4 1 0/4 0/2 0/0 3 22 0 0 0 1 3
B. Brechting 0 0 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 2 17 0 1 1 0 0
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
K. Newman 9 5 1 3/7 3/6 0/2 2 24 3 0 1 0 5
J. Beck 2 6 0 1/2 0/0 0/3 4 15 0 0 0 3 3
K. Pittman Jr. 0 0 0 0/0 0/0 0/0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
T. Maddox Jr. 0 2 0 0/3 0/1 0/0 1 9 0 0 0 1 1
B. Neely - - - - - - - - - - - - -
S. Scott - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Sowunmi - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 63 28 15 25/56 11/28 2/7 18 200 4 3 11 8 20
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Marshall 14 5 2 6/10 0/1 2/2 1 32 0 0 2 1 4
T. Jones 11 11 0 3/4 0/0 5/6 3 26 2 0 0 5 6
K. Castlin 10 3 0 2/5 0/1 6/6 0 27 1 0 0 2 1
P. Scruggs 10 5 4 4/8 0/0 2/2 5 30 3 1 2 1 4
Q. Goodin 3 3 3 1/10 0/3 1/2 0 33 3 0 2 0 3
Starters PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
N. Marshall 14 5 2 6/10 0/1 2/2 1 32 0 0 2 1 4
T. Jones 11 11 0 3/4 0/0 5/6 3 26 2 0 0 5 6
K. Castlin 10 3 0 2/5 0/1 6/6 0 27 1 0 0 2 1
P. Scruggs 10 5 4 4/8 0/0 2/2 5 30 3 1 2 1 4
Q. Goodin 3 3 3 1/10 0/3 1/2 0 33 3 0 2 0 3
Bench PTS REB AST FG 3PT FT PF MIN STL BLK TO OREB DREB
R. Welage 11 2 0 4/9 3/6 0/0 1 20 0 0 0 0 2
Z. Hankins 11 7 1 4/5 0/0 3/5 4 12 0 0 2 3 4
K. Kennedy 3 2 2 1/3 1/3 0/0 0 12 0 0 0 0 2
D. James 0 0 0 0/1 0/1 0/0 0 8 0 0 0 0 0
L. Schrand - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Hanson - - - - - - - - - - - - -
E. Harden - - - - - - - - - - - - -
N. Vanderpohl - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Swetye - - - - - - - - - - - - -
R. Singh - - - - - - - - - - - - -
A. Frazier - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 73 38 12 25/55 4/15 19/23 14 200 9 1 8 12 26