Goodin leads depleted Xavier over Detroit Mercy 69-55
CINCINNATI (AP) — Quentin Goodin wanted to stay in for the final minute and try for a triple-double. His tired legs told him he’d done enough.
Xavier’s point guard scored a career-high 22 points and barely missed out on a triple-double Friday night, leading the depleted Musketeers to a 69-55 victory over Detroit Mercy in the renewal of a series between former Midwestern Collegiate Conference rivals.
Goodin steadied the Musketeers (8-5) and helped to break open a close game. His back-to-back dunks highlighted a 16-3 run midway through the second half that put Xavier ahead by double digits for the first time.
Goodin finished with nine rebounds and nine assists. He got to watch the final minute from the bench after playing the first 39.
“To be honest, I was happy to come out,” Goodin said. “I was tired. I had teammates and coaches telling me I was one rebound, one assist away. I was trying to get it, but I was kind of winded.”
The Musketeers leaned heavily on Goodin with a pair of starters sidelined. Naji Marshall missed practice on Thursday with a sore back. Tyrique Jones — the Musketeers’ top rebounder — hit heads with Zach Hankins during practice on Thursday and wasn’t available, either.
“It was very different not having (them) out there,” Goodin said.
Detroit Mercy (3-9) kept it close before fading in the second half and finishing with its sixth straight loss.
Titans freshman Antoine Davis was limited by foul troubles and finished with 19 points on 8-of-24 shooting. Davis came in averaging 26.6 points per game, second in the nation.
Davis tried to steal a pass and ran into Xavier’s Elias Harden for his third foul with 3:32 left in the first half. Coach Mike Davis smacked the scorer’s table in frustration over the ill-advised foul. The freshman was shaken by the collision and lay on the floor for a few minutes before walking to the end of the bench and sitting there the rest of the half.
Detroit Mercy finished with only 10 assists and 12 turnovers.
“I just told our guys we have to find the shooters,” Mike Davis said. “We went through stretches where we didn’t score. Once we found our shooters, we could play with them.”
Detroit Mercy: The Titans were coming off a 63-61 home loss to Ohio. They trailed Xavier 42-40 with 13 minutes left, and then went into a shooting drought as Xavier pulled away.
Xavier: The Musketeers gave their bench players a chance to assert themselves with two starters sidelined. Hankins started for Jones and had 12 points and 11 rebounds. His head was fine a day after the collision with Jones.
“I’ve just got a bigger head, I don’t know,” Hankins said. “We were (on the) baseline, he reached in, we hit head-to-head and we both went down and he’s had a little more trouble with it.”
Detroit Mercy and Xavier were in the Midwestern City and the Midwestern Collegiate Conference from 1980-95, but they hadn’t played since 2006. Xavier leads the series 52-43. Detroit Mercy’s last win over Xavier came in the 1994 MCC tournament semifinals, when the Titans upset the top-seeded Musketeers 79-75 in Indianapolis.
The Titans are in the midst of playing 10 Ohio teams during an 11-game span. They hosted Bowling Green and Kent State before losing at Akron, Dayton and Toledo and then at home against Ohio. Following the game at Xavier, they play at Youngstown State and at Cleveland State before hosting Wright State.
The last Xavier player to have a triple-double was Myles Davis — 11 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists against Providence on Feb. 17, 2016, at the Cintas Center.
OH THOSE TURNOVERS
Xavier had 16 turnovers — eight by guard Paul Scruggs — that led to 21 points for Detroit Mercy. Turnovers have been Xavier’s biggest issue all season.
“The key for us is ball security,” coach Travis Steele said. “We turn the ball over too much. I thought other than Paul, we were pretty good.”
Detroit Mercy opens Horizon League play at Youngstown State next Saturday.
Xavier opens Big East play at DePaul next Saturday.
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