It took overtime, but the Xavier Musketeers improved to 4-0 on Monday night.
The Musketeers fended off a hard-nosed effort by the visiting Eastern Kentucky Colonels. EKU pushed XU to the limit, but the Musketeers fended them off in OT, 99-96, and remain unbeaten in the process.
Jason Carter was the hero in OT for the Musketeers, pushing them up 95-92 over EKU with 25 seconds to go. Carter was then tasked with heading to the free throw line a possession later, where he sunk two free throws to lift them up by three. A late jumper by Jomaru Brown put some heat on them, by KyKy Tandy put the cap on the game with two free throws to go up three. And that was all she wrote after that.
While Carter was heroic in OT and finished with 20 points, he was arguably outdone by Zach Freemantle. The sophomore put up 24 points on an 11-for-12 shooting night. Freemantle also grabbed 13 rebounds, dished out two assists and had a block in 41 minutes of action. His three turnovers certainly did not disqualify him from having an almost impeccable night of basketball on Monday night.
Nate Johnson also performed very well on Monday. The Gardner Webb transfer had 18 points with five rebounds, three assists and two steals in 44 minutes of action.
The Colonels were led by the efforts of Tre King, Curt Lewis and Cooper Robb. The three-headed monster attacked the Musketeers fiercely, as King finished with 25 points, Lewis with 20 and Robb with 19. Jomaru Brown joined them in double figures with 12 points, and Wendell Green finished with nine.
EKU made this a game by getting contribution doing what they’ve done on defense through this part of the year. They forced turnovers at an accelerated rate, as Xavier finished with a TO% of a whopping 28.4 percent. That was just 1.9 percent off the mark that the Colonels had registered through the first two games of the season. Xavier’s 3-point shots weren’t falling, so that was a feather in their cap after starting off not so strong in that category.
But they were unable to keep Xavier from thriving inside, as they allowed 70.7 percent of their 2-point tries to be made. Additionally, they were unable to keep them off the line, as the Musketeers had 30 free throw attempts, including four in the overtime period.
Xavier is currently scheduled to host Tennessee Tech on Wednesday.