Cedar Rapids Xavier drills season-high 14 3-pointers in 80-48 rout of Perry

Boys' basketball: Jackson Joens led Saints (8-3) with 23 points at inaugural Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout

CEDAR RAPIDS — At times, a move to a bigger basketball arena can throw off a shooter.

The Cedar Rapids Xavier boys’ basketball team had no such trouble Saturday at the U.S. Cellular Center.

The Class 3A fourth-ranked Saints made a season-high 14 3-pointers in an 80-48 victory over Perry in the inaugural Wells Fargo Advisors Shootout.

“Early on, we were taking the first available shot instead of showing some patience,” Xavier Coach Ryan Luehrsmann said. “Once we settled in and did that in the second half, we got a higher-quality look, higher-percentage threes. That was encouraging to see. We haven’t seen a lot of zone this year, so good for us to be given a different look.”

Seven different players posted at least one 3-pointer for Xavier (8-3), winners of four games in a row. Upper Iowa signee Jackson Joens led all scorers with 23 points, including a game-high four from long distance.

“We had a pretty long warmup, so I thought that helped a lot,” Joens said. “It was a good win for us.”

The Saints used a 29-12 surge in the first half and flipped an 11-8 deficit into a 14-point lead with less than three minutes until halftime. Xavier opened the second half with a 29-10 explosion that pushed the lead to 30 at 68-38 with 5:08 to go.

“We need a team effort, night in and night out,” Luehrsmann said. “I’m really happy with what I am seeing now.”

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South Dakota State signee Matt Mims scored 20 points and led the Saints with seven rebounds, seven steals and four assists.

Sophomore Jake Beckmann scored 11 points and distributed four assists, while senior Matt Ropp and junior Kyle Moeder scored eight points apiece off the bench.

“In practice, we tell them to shoot whenever they get an open look and do the little things,” Joens said. “It is a real key factor with them. I think they have a lot of confidence.”

Connor Nielsen led Perry (4-10) with 17 points and nine rebounds.

The Saints return to Mississippi Valley Conference action on Tuesday with a visit to Dubuque Hempstead.

“Hempstead is a really good team, they kind of took it to us last year (a 63-44 loss),” Joens said. “We’re going to go up there and try and play good defense, play ball for 32 minutes and see what happens.”

AT U.S. CELLULAR CENTER

PERRY (48): Drew Levan 2 0-0 4, Mark Campos 0 1-2 1, Rashon Ivory 7 2-3 16, Brendan Ivory 0 0-0 0, Tanner Duffy 3 0-0 7, Connor Nielsen 5 5-5 17, Aaron Lockwood 0 2-2 2, Michael Meyer 0 1-2 1, Totals 17 11-14 48.

C.R. XAVIER (80): Matt Mims 5 8-12 20, Jackson Joens 8 3-4 23, Quinn Schulte 0 2-2 2, Jacob Hines 0 0-1 0, Gabe Lux 1 0-0 3, Kyle Moeder 0 0-0 0, Ryan Keating 0 0-0 0, Bryson Bastian 1 0-0 3, Davis Wagner 0 0-0 0, Jake Beckmann 3 3-3 11, Jack Scott 0 0-0 0, Matt Ropp 2 2-2 8, Kyle Moeder 3 0-0 8, Josh Volk 1 0-1 2, Aaron Bartels 0 0-0 0, Totals 24 18-25 80.

Perry 13 15 8 12—48

C.R. Xavier 17 22 16 25—80

Halftime — Xavier, 39-28. Three-point goals — Perry 3 (Nielsen 2, Duffy 1), Xavier 14 (Joens 4, Mims 2, Beckmann 2, Ropp 2, Moeder 2, Bastian 1, Lux 1). Rebounds — Perry 26 (Nielsen 9), Xavier 29 (Mims 7). Assists — Perry 7 (R. Ivory 2, Nielsen 2), Xavier 13 (Mims 4, Beckmann 4). Turnovers — Perry 19, Xavier 11. Total fouls — Perry 16, Xavier 15. Fouled out — None.

l Comments: douglas.miles@thegazette.com

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