Coming into the season, everyone knew things would be rough for the Xavier Musketeers. They lost more than 50 points per game in scoring from last season, plus Chris Mack left for Louisville.
Even with that in mind, it’s hard to imagine too many Xavier fans foresaw things getting quite this bad. The Musketeers fell to DePaul by a 74-62 margin on Saturday night. It was Xavier’s sixth straight loss, and third straight loss at Cintas Center.
It was a particularly strange game for DePaul, as leading scorer Max Strus struggled for most of the night before finishing the game with a team-high 17 points. Strus was 6-20 from the field and 1-9 from three. The big story for the Blue Demons continues to be the emergence of sophomore forward Paul Reed. Reed had 15 points and eight rebounds. Femi Olujobi also contributed in a big way with 15 points and nine rebounds.
Xavier ran into similar problems as they have all season. They were unable to get stops in the second half as they saw an eight point lead evaporate and then grow to a double-digit DePaul lead. The Musketeers seem to have run into a problem of players simply being worn out at this point, as many of Xavier’s key contributors have logged many 35+ minute performances this year as the roster is just too thin. Naji Marshall had a strong showing with a game-high 22 points, 16 of which came in the first half.
Xavier will look to snap their skid Wednesday night as they welcome Creighton, while DePaul will look to extend their winning streak to three in a row with an upset win over the Marquette Golden Eagles Tuesday night in Chicago.