Friday, January 29, 1999

CINCINNATI 87, XAVIER 77


Bearcats come from behind in 2nd half

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[martin]
UC's Kenyon Martin shows off the Crosstown Trophy.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        The 66th Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout lived up to its hype. Which was no easy task. The much-publicized annual grudge match between Cincinnati's two college basketball rivals fittingly went down to the final minutes Thursday night.

        No.5 UC held off Xavier at the end and regained local bragging rights with an 87-77 victory that was closer than the score indicates.

        A sellout crowd of 13,176 at Shoemaker Center and a national television audience on ESPN watched a game that was close for 37 minutes.

        The Musketeers had won two in a row in the series and reigned in town for 26 months. Now, it's UC's turn.

[levett]
UC's Melvin Levett shoots over XU's Gary Lumpkin .
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        “I was wired since 1 o'clock this afternoon,” said UC senior Melvin Levett, who scored 23 points. “You live for these games. I'm going to miss playing this game.

        “I'm glad after two years to beat these guys. We can enjoy it for a couple of hours, but we've got to get ready for Saturday (against UAB).”

        Cincinnati improved to 19-1 and extended its home winning streak to 28 games.

        Xavier, a 13-point underdog which never trailed by that many all night, fell to 15-5 and saw its 10-game winning streak end.

        The game played out almost as forecasted.

[tate]
UC's Jermaine Tate rebounds over Xavier's Lenny Brown and Kevin Frey.
(Michael Snyder photo)
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        Cincinnati dominated inside and got clutch scoring from Levett, and Xavier's veteran guards kept the Musketeers in the game.

        UC had 21 offensive rebounds and 24 second-chance points.

        “The bottom line is we didn't rebound,” Xavier coach Skip Prosser said. “It's not that cryptic. Give them credit. We never really found an answer for them on the glass. And they made some big shots. ... There's a reason they're the fifth-ranked team in the country.”

        Four-year starters Gary Lumpkin (25) and Lenny Brown (21) combined for 46 points on 14-of-27 shooting for the Musketeers. They connected on 8-of-14 from three-point range. James Posey added 13 points and 12 rebounds.

        UC freshman Steve Logan scored 17 points off the bench. Jermaine Tate and Michael Horton each scored 10 points, and Horton had eight assists.

[brown]
XU's Brown got a technical for hanging on the rim after a dunk.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        Kenyon Martin, UC's all-time leading shot blocker, had five by halftime and finished with six of UC's nine blocks. Some samples of his handiwork? He swatted a Lloyd Price short jump shot the length of the court. He caught a layup by Maurice McAfee. He blocked a Brown jumper in the paint. Get the picture?

        Cincinnati led by five at intermission and threatened to turn it into a blowout, pulling ahead 42-31 early in the second half. But with Lumpkin and Brown leading the way, XU went on a 16-2 run over the next three minutes.

        It was Xavier 47-44 after a Brown dunk with 14:13 left.

        Brown was called for a technical for hanging onto the rim, and Logan hit two free throws to cut it to one.

        It was a battle the rest of the way. The game was tied at 49, 51, 54, 63 and 65.

[price]
XU's Lloyd Price steals from UC's Michael Horton late in the game.
(Micheal Snyder photo)
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                A key possession: Xavier, trailing by two, had five shots but failed to score. When UC came down, Logan hit a short baseline jumper and was fouled by Lumpkin. Logan hit the free throw to make it 70-65 UC with 5:27 to play.

Logan may have hit the biggest shot of the night. Clinging to a one-point lead, UC worked the ball around, and Logan found himself wide open behind the three-point arc. The freshman nailed the shot and put the Bearcats up 76-72 with 3:09 remaining.

        “They broke down,” Logan said.

        Lumpkin missed, and Martin got inside for a dunk to make it 78-74. After James Posey traveled, Xavier called a timeout with 2:07 to play.

        On UC's next possession, Price picked Horton and went in for a dunk.

        Levett hit a three.

        Posey hit a three.

        Timeout — 59.9 seconds left.

[prosser]
XU coach Skip Prosser consoles Price near the end of the game.
(Micheal Snyder photo)
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        The Musketeers had to foul the rest of the way.

        “I thought we did a better job of stopping their penetration in the last few minutes,” UC coach Bob Huggins said. “They're so quick. They've got such great team quickness.”

        There was plenty of emotion on display throughout the night, with fist-pumping and trash-talking from the tipoff.

        Cincinnati finished the first half with a 15-3 run and led 34-29 at intermission — its biggest advantage to that point — with Xavier going scoreless for the final 4:51.

        The Musketeers' only basket in the last nine minutes of the half was a three-pointer by Brown.

[huggins]
UC coach Bob Huggins hugs Martin.
(Ernest Coleman photo)
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        XU was ahead by as many as seven points after a three-pointer by Lumpkin silenced the crowd. Then the Bearcats scored eight consecutive points, including a three by Levett, a steal by Pete Mickeal, who then went all the way for a layup, and a transition layup by Levett that put UC ahead 27-26. That was the Bearcats' first lead since 7-5.

        After Brown answered with his third three-pointer, Cincinnati closed the half with a 7-0 run.

        Brown, whose game-winning shot upset then-No.1 UC in November 1996, came out firing. Two of XU's first three baskets were Brown three-pointers, and he had totaled 11 points in the first 20 minutes.

        “I expected us to pull it out,” Lumpkin said. “I think we played pretty tough. My hat goes off to them.”


XAVIER (77)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            21   2-4   0-0   1-2  0  4    4
Posey           32  3-12   6-6  8-12  2  4   13
Harris          10   0-2   0-0   1-2  0  3    0
L Brown         37  7-15   2-2   1-3  2  4   21
Lumpkin         36  7-12   8-8   1-2  1  3   25
Mcafee          12   1-3   2-2   0-0  0  3    5
Price           24   3-7   2-4   3-7  4  3    8
Turner          28   0-4   1-2   2-2  0  4    1
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-59 21-24 17-30  9 28   77
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.390, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals:
10-22, .455 (Frey 0-1, Posey 1-5, L Brown 5-9,
Lumpkin 3-5, Mcafee 1-2). Team rebounds: 4.
Blocked shots: 3 (Price 2, Harris). Turnovers: 22
(L Brown 5, Posey 4, Frey 3, Mcafee 2, Price 2,
Turner 2, Harris, Lumpkin). Steals: 8 (Price 4,
Posey 2, L Brown, Lumpkin).


CINCINNATI (87)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Tate            29   3-5   4-5   5-6  0  2   10
Mickeal         26   4-8   1-3   3-6  1  4    9
Martin          28   4-7   0-1   5-8  1  4    8
Levett          37  7-18  7-11   1-7  0  1   23
Horton          33   4-6   2-4   1-3  8  3   10
Mitchell         3   0-0   1-3   0-0  0  0    1
Logan           18   5-9   5-5   0-0  2  2   17
Myrick           3   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Fletcher        22   4-8   1-2   3-4  1  4    9
Mcghee           1   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 31-61 21-34 18-36 13 20   87
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.508, FT-.618. 3-Point Goals:
4-13, .308 (Levett 2-9, Logan 2-4). Team
rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 9 (Martin 6, Tate 2,
Fletcher). Turnovers: 18 (Horton 4, Levett 4,
Martin 3, Mickeal 2, Tate 2, Fletcher, Logan,
Mcghee). Steals: 8 (Horton 2, Mickeal 2, Tate 2,
Fletcher, Myrick).
__________________________________
Xavier             29   48  -   77
Cincinnati         34   53  -   87
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Xavier 2 (Posey, L Brown). 
Cincinnati 1 (Mickeal).  A: 13,176. Officials:
Larry Lembo, Ted Valentine, Jim Jenkins.
Box score
Shootout best game in town
Martin, Horton key UC
Guards kept XU kicking
Logan large for UC
CROSSTOWN NOTEBOOK
ESPN barely gets the tip of Shootout


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HOCKEY TONIGHT
shootout logo
Cincinnati 87,
Xavier 77

UC LEADERS

• Points: Levett 23, Logan 17
• Rebounds: Martin 8, Levett 7
• Blocks: Martin 6
• Steals: Horton, Mickeal, Tate 2
• Assists: Horton 8

XU LEADERS
• Points: Lumpkin 25, Brown 21
• Rebounds: Posey 12
• Blocks: Price 2
• Steals: Price 4
• Assists: Price 4

Game coverage
GAME STORY
Box score
Download photos for wallpaper
Shootout best game in town
Martin, Horton key UC
Guards kept XU kicking
Logan large for UC
Notebook: Scalpers get rich
ESPN barely gets the tip of Shootout

Season's coverage
Nice job, UC; now play UAB
Dayton next for XU
BEARCATS PAGE
XAVIER PAGE