Thursday, December 09, 1999

Xavier-Miami Notebook


Williams: 'I take the blame'

        OXFORD — Darnell Williams sat with a towel over his head. He took Xavier's 67-58 loss to Miami on Wednesday night hard. He also took it personally.

        “I take the blame for the loss,” the Musketeers' senior said. “I didn't step up. When the shots were there for me, I didn't knock them down. When I mess up, I take the blame. If I step up and make shots, we win.”

        Williams led Xavier with 18 points and helped rally the Musketeers to a tie with 9:26 remaining when he scored eight points during a 13-3 run. But he didn't make another basket.

        He finished just 4-of-16 from the field and 4-of-11 from 3-point range.

        In the past four games, he is shooting 28.9 percent from the field (13-of-45) and 22.7 percent from 3-point range (5-of-22).

Making a point
        Xavier's Maurice McAfee outscored Miami point guard Rob Mestas 13 to 9.

        But Mestas had the better game. Mestas had seven assists and turned it over only twice, despite constantly having to break the Muskies' press.

        McAfee had one assist and two turnovers. McAfee was 5-for-12 from the field; Mestas was 3-for-6.

Student affairs
        The Miami students in the stands were all over Xavier sophomore Aaron Turner, chanting his name — among other things — all night.

        “I love it,” he said. “Usually good players get it from the crowd. They pumped me up.”

        Turner finished with a game-high 11 rebounds but scored just two points on 1-of-5 shooting. He also had seven turnovers.

Family affair
        Miami sophomore Ben Helmers (Hamilton Badin) is the son of former Xavier great Jerry Helmers, a 1972 graduate who is No.19 on the Musketeers' all-time scoring list — one place ahead of Darnell Williams.

        Helmers did not play against Xavier.

Looking ahead
        Dick Vitale will join Dave Sims on the ESPN broadcast team for the Crosstown Shootout between Xavier and Cincinnati on Dec. 18. Vitale replaces Larry Conley. Numbers Miami's Refiloe Lethunya finished with 11 points, his highest output since he had 17 against Ohio Feb. 18, 1998 ... The crowd of 5,014 was smallest for a Xavier-Miami game at Millett since 4,566 showed up in 1989. Up next Xavier plays at Central Michigan at 2 p.m. Saturday. Miami plays host to Notre Dame at noon Saturday.        



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