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Zach Freemantle, Xavier take down Montana

Xavier's Zach Freemantle recieves the ball under the hoop during the Xavier Musketeers vs. Montana Grizzlies game at the Cintas Center on Friday Nov. 11, 2022. The Musketeers lead the game 49-37 at halftime.
Credit: Phil Didion / USA TODAY NETWORK

Zach Freemantle scored 18 points to lead four double-digit scorers as Xavier cruised to an 86-64 home win over Montana on Friday evening in Cincinnati.

Freemantle shot 8 of 11 from the field, dished out four assists and registered four of his team’s 11 steals. Jack Nunge added 15 points for Xavier, while Kyky Tandy chipped in 14 on 4-of-5 3-point shooting and Colby Jones notched 12 points and five assists.

Adam Kunkel, Desmond Claude and Souley Boum each contributed seven points for the Musketeers (2-0), who shot well from the field (64 percent), the 3-point arc (8 of 14) and the foul line (14 of 19).

Montana (0-2) also shot well from 3-point range (9 of 19) and finished at a respectable 44.2 percent from the field, but the visitors were doomed by turnovers. The Grizzlies committed 16 turnovers and only forced nine miscues, and the Musketeers finished with a 19-0 advantage in points off turnovers.

Dischon Thomas registered 15 points to pace Montana, while Lonnell Martin added 13 and Josh Bannan had 12 points.

Both teams rocketed out of the gate as Xavier held a 20-17 lead just 5 1/2 minutes into the contest. However, Montana then went more than six minutes without a point as the hosts expanded their lead to 29-17.

Kunkel had a dunk and a 3-pointer during that surge, while Freemantle bookended the run with two free throws and a hook shot.

The Musketeers led by as many as 15 late in the first half, but Josh Vazquez’s 3-pointer in the waning seconds brought the visitors within 49-37 at the break.

Xavier’s advantage grew to 20 points early the second half, as Tandy and Nunge hit 3-pointers to make it 62-42. The Musketeers led by as many as 29 down the stretch before the Grizzlies made the final score a bit more respectable.

–Field Level Media