Sunday, January 24, 1999

Let's get ready to ... hype


XU, UC ready for Thursday's Shootout

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Without further ado, we bring you five days of hype that culminates with the 66th Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout.

        It's No.5 Cincinnati vs. unranked Xavier at 9:30p.m. Thursday at the Shoemaker Center with a national audience watching live on ESPN.

        The Bearcats are 18-1, rebounding from their only loss (at North Carolina Charlotte) with three convincing victories. They lead the series 43-22.

        The Musketeers are 15-4 and have won 10 consecutive games. They have held bragging rights in town for 26 months.

        Last season, Xavier turned the Shootout into a blowout, winning 88-68 at the Cincinnati Gardens in the most lopsided meeting between the schools in 33 years.

        Lenny Brown's last-second jump shot beat then-No.1 UC in November 1996.

        “We aren't going to do any trash-talking,” Xavier point guard Gary Lumpkin said. “We're going to come out and play hard and play together. That's all I can say.”

        Xavier will be trying to win three in a row in this series for the first time since 1984-86.

        Is it payback time for the Bearcats?

        UC beat Saint Louis 55-44 on Saturday in a rugged game that was the Bearcats' final test before the Shootout. It was hard for them not to look forward.

        “You see the previews on ESPN and stuff. It's the kind of game that's talked about all year,” said UC junior forward Ryan Fletcher, who is from Franklin. “It was kind of like, "Let's get through this, we'll win it, take tomorrow off and come back ready for Xavier.'”

       



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UC 55, SAINT LOUIS 44
UC NOTEBOOK
XAVIER 93, VIRGINIA TECH 69
XU NOTEBOOK