Despite Tarpey's return, Prep basketball blitzed in second half by Xavier
Even with superstar Terry Tarpey in the lineup, Fairfield Prep's basketball team simply could not handle the inside on Tuesday night against Xavier.
The Falcons outrebounded Prep 29-27 and outscored the Jesuits by 12 points in the second half as Xavier won going away over Prep 60-44 at Alumni Hall.
"That's expected in this league," Prep coach Leo Redgate said. "We're still a work in progress."
Tarpey-- who sprained his ankle in Prep's last game against Fairfield Ludlowe-- did not start, but played 18 minutes, scoring nine points.
"I'm proud of him for trying," Redgate said of Tarpey. "His ankle is not near where it should be for him to be playing."
But Xavier's Jovan Santos-Knox dominated, scoring 20 points, 16 of which came in the second half. Santos-Knox also added four rebounds and four steals and Falcons' guard James Sullivan added 12 as Xavier snapped a five-game losing streak.
Tim Butala led Prep with 17 points and 11 rebounds as the Jesuits fell for the second time in three games. The Jesuits will play again on Friday when they host Guilford at 7 p.m. at Alumni Hall.
The Jesuits stayed with Xavier in the first half, led by Butala's nine, building a 23-20 advantage.
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"Butala started out great," Redgate said. "But he may have gotten tired."
But Xavier closed the half on a 7-0 run, a spurt that peaked at 18-2 as the Jesuits continuously turned the ball over, and struggled to make shots. The Falcons' inside presences dominated Prep's in the second half as Xavier out-rebounded the Jesuits 19-16.
"There's no reason why we shouldn't come out ready to play 110 percent," Redgate said. "And I'm not sure we had that tonight."
Prep countered with a 9-2 run, as a 3-pointer by Keith Pettway and two buckets from Tarpey got the Jesuits back to within 40-34.
But a 13-3 spurt by Xavier cooled all comeback tries. The Falcons outscored Prep 18-10 in the final frame.
"We weren't being aggressive with our trap," Redgate said. "And we weren't getting back."
Despite the loss -- Prep's second in three games-- Redgate isn't worried.
"I'm not even remotely concerned," he said. "We're trying to get them some confidence and it'll take time."