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Xavier falls again in Maui to Jalen McDaniels, San Diego State

McDaniels and Devin Watson were too much for Xavier to handle.

Maui Invitational - Xavier v San Diego State Photo by Darryl Oumi/Getty Images

Jalen McDaniels and his 26 points were too much for the Xavier Musketeers to handle in Maui. The Musketeers fell in their second Maui Invitational game to the San Diego State Aztecs, losing 79-74.

McDaniels was brilliant all morning on the island. His 26 came on 9-of-14 shooting and 5-of-8 from the free throw line. He went 3-for-5 from the 3-point line and added eight boards to his line, as well. SDSU’s Devin Watson added 21 points of his own, as Xavier was once again bested by a dynamic duo. It was McDaniels and Watson on Tuesday, and Bryce Brown and Jared Harper of the Auburn Tigers on Monday.

Xavier simply couldn’t defend against SDSU, who shot 51 percent from the field and 40.7 percent from 3. Those numbers coupled with an 80 percent day at the free throw line are a combination that’s incredibly tough to beat. Especially when you go 46.7-32.0-66.7 from all areas. SDSU’s 46.2 percent mark from 3-point land in the 2nd half matched with Xavier’s 21.4 percent line also probably adds to those aforementioned shooting and defensive woes.

Xavier was certainly valiant down the stretch, but it was too much of a drop off in the second half. Xavier led at the break 40-37 and held advantages in all the important areas. But they absolutely dropped off in a bad way in the second half. They scored just four points off of SDSU’s six second half turnovers, were outrebounded, and of course outshot. That’s a recipe for a loss, to be sure.

Leading the way for Xavier was Quentin Goodin. Q played 37 minutes and scored 20 points, shot 7-of-11 from the field, 3-of-5 from 3-point land and 3-of-4 from the line. He had three assists, one rebound and just one turnover in those 37 minutes. He certainly was brilliant, but the rest of the team struggled mightily. Two other players got into double figures (Zach Hankins with 15, Paul Scruggs with 11) but points were hard to come by otherwise.

The Musketeers will try to get their one and only win in Maui on Wednesday.