No. 9 Xavier dominates in 64-42 win over Northern Iowa
CINCINNATI (AP) J.P. Macura scored 18 points, and Xavier's defense dug in during a dominant first half, sending the ninth-ranked Musketeers to a 64-42 victory over Northern Iowa on Saturday.
Xavier (6-0) completely controlled a rematch of teams playing for the second time in six days. The Musketeers beat Northern Iowa 67-59 for championship of Tire Pros Invitational in Orlando last Sunday.
The Musketeers looked very comfortable in their second go-round against the Panthers (3-2). Northern Iowa had trouble finding open shots while Xavier raced ahead 30-10, going 4 of 13 from the field with seven turnovers. The Musketeers led 35-12 at halftime - the fewest points they had allowed in any half for 34 years.
Xavier pushed the lead to 26 points early in the second half and was never threatened. Jeremy Morgan scored 14 points - all in the second half - for Northern Iowa.
Northern Iowa: The Panthers are 17-37 all-time against ranked teams, including 2-17 on the road. Both of those road wins came at Wichita State - last season and in 2006.
Xavier: Kaiser Gates got into a game for the first time. The sophomore forward was counted upon to be an integral part of Xavier's overhauled front line, but tore cartilage in his left knee and had surgery a month ago. Gates played 11 minutes, missed his only shot, got two rebounds and picked up three fouls.
Xavier played its most complete game yet and has shown improvement each time out after a couple of close opening wins.
Northern Iowa hosts George Mason on Wednesday.
Xavier hosts North Dakota State on Tuesday.
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