Xavier Beats Saint Bonaventure in the NIT Semifinals at Madison Square Garden.
By: Ethan Hennessy
New York City New York
For the final time (at least for the foreseeable future) the National Invitation Tournament. Xavier jumped out to a 19-7 lead early but Madison Square Garden roared to life when the Bonnies began to cut the Xavier lead around the eleven-minute mark. Xavier withstood the run though and was able to score on the offensive end thanks to some nice backdoor cut layups.
Saint Bonaventure struggled to score throughout the first half. They finished the half shooting only 30% and did not record their 20th point until under three minutes before halftime. Xavier took a fifteen-point lead into halftime.
In the second half SBU got off to a hot start going on an 11-6 run. The majority Saint Bonaventure crowd at the garden finally had something to cheer about. Saint Bonaventure cut the Xavier lead to eight with ten minutes to play and again with seven and a half minutes to play, but each time the musketeers would stop the Bonnies momentum with a timely shot.
Saint Bonaventure finally got within five with 5:36 thanks to a Dominick Welch three-pointer which prompted a Xavier timeout. Saint Bonaventure made a valiant effort down the stretch but the hole they had dug themselves in was too big, and the clock struck midnight on the Bonnies NIT run. Xavier advanced to the NIT Championship game to the tune of a 84-77 win. Interium coach Jonas Hayes said after the game”We rolled in here expecting adversity. We expected them to bring their whole campus.”