Men's College Basketball
Preview
Toledo at Xavier
When: 12:00 PM ET, Friday, November 27, 2020
Where: Cintas Center, Cincinnati, Ohio

In a weird sort of way, Travis Steele got his wish on Thursday.

"I wanted to see how our group would respond to adversity, because that exposes who you are as a person and a team," the Xavier coach said.

Steele got the answer he wanted on multiple fronts. Forced to play at Bradley's slower pace and hindered offensively by the physical Braves' 2-3 matchup zone, the Musketeers (2-0) made enough plays down the stretch to pull out a 51-50 win.

Now they'll try for a sweep of the Xavier Invitational on Friday when they meet Toledo in Cincinnati.

The Musketeers got 19 points from Zach Freemantle and 17 from senior leader Paul Scruggs against Bradley, but it was freshman point guard Dwon Odom who produced the winning points. His running bank shot in the lane with 4.8 seconds left gave Xavier a one-point edge, and the Braves' Terry Nolan Jr. clanked the front end of a one-and-one with 0.4 ticks on the clock to ice the outcome.

A day after scoring 101 points in a 52-point rout of Oakland, the Musketeers barely produced half that. However, they defended and rebounded well again, limiting Bradley to 33.3 percent shooting from the field and winning the board battle 47-40.

"Good teams will find ways to win games, even when we play ugly. We've got to be able to hang our hat on defense, which always allows you to be in the game," Steele said.

While Xavier had to work for its win, Toledo bounced back from a tough 61-59 loss Wednesday to Bradley by drilling Oakland 80-53. The Rockets got a career-high eight 3-pointers and 24 points from senior Spencer Littleson. They finished the day with 16 treys, one off the single-game school record.

Toledo coach Tod Kowalczyk pointed to one stat as a key to how well his players performed -- their 25 assists on 28 made field goals.

"I don't think I've ever seen a percentage that high for assists to field goals," he said. "We shared the basketball about as well as you can, and that has to be a school record."

The Rockets also defended and rebounded well. They limited Oakland to 31.4 percent shooting from the field, including a pitiful 2 of 23 from the 3-point arc, and owned a 45-30 advantage on the glass.

The in-state foes will square off for the first time since Xavier earned a 78-64 win in a 2019 NIT first-round game.

--Field Level Media

Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Neutral Day Night Conf
Toledo 1-1 W1 0-0 0-0 1-1 1-1 0-0 0-0
Xavier 2-0 W2 2-0 0-0 0-0 2-0 0-0 0-0
Last Meeting
Toledo Xavier
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
3/20/19 TOL 64 XAV 78 64 29 39.0 78 49 40.3
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toledo J. Sanford 23 47.1 6
Xavier N. Marshall 20 31.2 9
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toledo L. Knapke 7 0 7
Xavier N. Marshall 21 4 17
Assists Player  
Toledo C. Darrington 4
Xavier N. Marshall 6
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Toledo S. Littleson 34 63.2 0
Xavier Z. Freemantle 40 60.0 0
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Toledo J. Komagum 15 7 8
Xavier Z. Freemantle 19 6 13
Assists Player  
Toledo M. Jackson 12
Xavier P. Scruggs 17
Quickchart Matchup
blue bar Toledo Off vs  red bar Xavier Defense
blue bar 69.5 Points For
red bar 49.5 Points Against
blue bar 39.1 FG%
red bar 28.0 FG%
blue bar 38.5 Reb
red bar 34.5 Reb
red bar Xavier Off vs  blue bar Toledo Defense
red bar 76.0 Points For
blue bar 57.0 Points Against
red bar 48.1 FG%
blue bar 36.4 FG%
red bar 43.0 Reb
blue bar 35.0 Reb