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Xavier races by Detroit, 69-55

Quentin Goodin scores 22 as the Musketeers nab their eighth win of the season.

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Second Round-Xavier vs Florida State Jim Brown-USA TODAY Sports

A near triple-double from Quentin Goodin helped lead the Xavier Musketeers over the Detroit-Mercy Titans. Goodin scored 22 points, had nine boards and nine assists in the Musketeers’ 69-55 victory, pushing their record up to 8-5 on the season.

The Musketeers were pretty in command as Detroit only led for 16 seconds. There were merely two lead changes in this game, and the two sides were tied for just 15 seconds. Xavier dominated nearly from start to finish, putting an end to their nonconference slate in a big way.

Goodin’s performance was an enormous one for many reasons. The 22 points and nine rebounds he had were both career highs. The nine assists were not, as hehe had 12 in a loss to the Villanova Wildcats last season, but he has only had nine or more assists fvie times in his entire Xavier career. So he was prodigious and phenomenal, and that kind of performance is exactly what the Musketeers needed.

Xavier, of course, has been very up-and-down this season. 8-5 may not have been in the cards this season and they had walked into the game 2-2 in their last four, alternating between wins over the Ohio Bobcats and Eastern Kentucky Colonels and losses to the Cincinnati Bearcats and Missouri Tigers. They’re technically still 2-2 in their last four, but it’s comforting for them to end their nonconference season with a W.

As you might expect, Goodin’s 22 points led both sides, as did his nine assists. But his nine boards did not lead in that department. Zach Hankins had 11 rebounds on the night to go with his 12 points, recording his second double-double of the year. Hankins hadn’t hit double digit totals in two categories since his 11 & 10 against the Wisconsin Badgers on November 13. Xavier was plenty happy to get that kind of performance from him on Friday night.

Joining Goodin and Hankins in double figures was Ryan Welage. Welage had 16 points on the night, his third-best output of the season behind the 24 in the opener over the IUPUI Jaguars and the 17 he had out in Maui against the Auburn Tigers. He shot 6-for-13 from the field and committed no turnovers in 34 minutes of action.

Paul Scruggs complemented efforts with nine points, five rebounds and three assists, but was careless, committing eight turnovers on the night in 30 minutes. Keonte Kennedy had six points, and no other Musketeer who saw the floor had more than two points.

Antoine Davis led Detroit in scoring with 19 points on the night. He was joined in double figures by Derrien King, who had 13.

Xavier will get a week’s worth of rest and then some, and then start Big East play against the DePaul Blue Demons next Saturday.