MIDDLETOWN — No contest.
On paper, it looked like it should be a game as Cheshire came in at 4-2 and Xavier was 3-2. So much for paper as Xavier blasted the Rams 47-24 in a game that was nowhere near that close.
Xavier, ranked No. 10 in the latest GameTimeCT / New Haven Register Top 10 and winners of three in a row, scored the game’s first seven points, led 9-1 after one and 26-5 at the half. Cheshire didn’t score its first field goal until there was 2:02 left in the first half.
“I thought we played very well, especially in the first half,” Xavier coach Mike Kohs said. “Defensively we were outstanding and I was very happy with our defensive rebounding. I don’t think Cheshire got an offensive rebound the whole first half.”
On top of Xavier’s defense, the rest of the Southern Connecticut Conference should pay attention to this: the Falcons are getting much more balanced scoring. Over the first few games, it’s been the Jackson Benigni Show as the guard averaged around 30 points per game and anything anybody else scored was, well, a bonus.
Matt Bielenda led the Falcons with 15, including 11 in the decisive first half, while Dan Comcowich had nine, Kyle MacGillis had eight and Benigni had — gasp! — seven.
“I’m very happy that on a night when Benigni had seven points we won by 23,” Kohs said. “Bielenda was tremendous, MacGillis gave us points and Comcowich played very well inside. While overall we played well offensively only at times, it was a very good team performance.
“That’s a very good sign.”
The second half wasn’t quite the clinic the first half was.
“The second half wasn’t very artistic,” Kohs said. “But we had a comfortable margin.”
Xavier (4-2) led 36-15 after three and coasted home as Kohs cleared the bench.
“It’s true Cheshire didn’t shoot well,” Kohs said. “But I think that was as much a function of our defense as anything else.”
Xavier plays Sheehan in Wallingford Wednesday.