XAVIER 88, CANISIUS 58
Brown's 3s ignite Muskies

Sunday, December 20, 1998

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[harris]
Obi Harris hangs on the rim after an early dunk.
(Saed Hindash photo)

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One of the more dangerous characteristics of recent Xavier teams has been "spurtability," the term used by the Musketeers to describe lengthy, unanswered scoring runs.

There has been little of that this season. But there was a devastating spurt Saturday night.

Xavier ended a two-game losing streak with an 88-58 victory over Canisius College that didn't turned lopsided until early in the second half.

Canisius scored the first basket after intermission and was within 40-34. Then Xavier reeled off 16 consecutive points in a 312-minute span.

The Musketeers showed a little of everything: A three-pointer by Lenny Brown. Transition dunks by James Posey, including one on an alley-oop from Brown. A three by Maurice McAfee. The run was capped with a behind-the-back bounce pass from McAfee to Lloyd Price, who sailed in for a dunk.

[walker]
Desmond Walker, right, and Canisius's Matt Tribul scramble for the ball.
(Saed Hindash photo)

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It was 56-34 with 13:55 to play. And it was never close again.

"The first nine games we got very few cheap baskets, and that's not us," coach Skip Prosser said. "I think tonight were were 'us' for a few minutes -- in stretches only. . . . It's a building block."

The Musketeers (6-4) never trailed.

Canisius (2-4) was held to just 26 points, nine field goals and 25-percent shooting in the second half (9-of-36).

"We played Xavier basketball," McAfee said.

A crowd of 8,326 at the Cincinnati Gardens saw a night of superlatives for several Musketeers:

  • Brown tied a career-high with five threes in eight attempts. The rest of the Musketeers were 2-of-10 from three-point range. Brown was 8-of-16 from the field, scored 14 of his team-high 21 points in the first half and also finished with six rebounds and five assists. "I'm so grateful that I shot the ball that well, but every night I'm not going to shoot that well," Brown said. "So, I tried to do other things, too."

  • Posey tied a career-high in rebounds with 15. He also finished with 14 points for his sixth double-double of the season. He was generally all over the place, grabbing boards and diving on the floor.

    "He's our (Dennis) Rodman," McAfee said.

    When he heard that he had nine rebounds at halftime, Posey told Brown he wanted to finish with 20. "I feel I can get every board until it doesn't end up in my hand," Posey said.

  • McAfee, coming off the bench, had a career-high six assists and his most productive game since the season-opener at Butler. The sophomore point guard added 11 points on 3-of-4 shooting.

    "He was under control," Prosser said. "He wasn't feast or famine. He had a much higher percentage of positive plays than negative plays, and that's what we need from him."

    "Ever since (Butler), for whatever reason, I wasn't aggressive," McAfee said. "I was settling for too many three-pointers instead of going to the basket. I was out there thinking too much. I've just got to let things come naturally."

  • Junior center Obi Harris, who had played nine total minutes going into Saturday night, made his first start, scored two of Xavier's first three baskets and went on to finish with career-highs of eight points and three rebounds in 22 minutes.

Xavier led by as many as 13 points early, though Canisius repeatedly showed it would not quit.

During a span of 1 minute, 55 seconds in the first half, Brown hit three consecutive three-pointers to give the Musketeers a 38-25 lead with 2:34 left before the break.

After Brown's flurry, Keith Lambkin scored seven unanswered points for the Golden Griffins to make it 38-32. Two free throws by Posey put XU ahead 40-32 at intermission.

Lambkin, a senior forward averaging 9.2 points a game, had a team-high 14 points in the first half and didn't score again.

Canisius came in as the No. 1 three-point shooting team in the country (47.7 percent) but finished just 6-of-23 (.261) against Xavier. And, 6-foot senior guard Kevin Worley came in No. 2 in the country (14-of-20, .700). He totaled just seven points on 2-of-8 shooting. He was 1-of-2 from three-point range; his only three came with 5:48 remaining.

"We needed a good effort, and we got a pretty good effort tonight," Prosser said. "I saw more of what we need to become."

XU Notebook: Streak ends for Price
Season in stories

 
CANISIUS (58)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Sawyers         23   3-7   2-5   2-3  0  1    8
Lambkin         26  6-14   1-1   2-5  0  5   14
Fenn            19   1-5   2-2   3-5  1  0    4
Mcclure         20   0-4   0-0   1-2  0  2    0
Worley          32   2-8   2-2   0-0  1  2    7
Bush             3   2-4   2-2   2-2  0  2    6
Bentick         29   2-5   0-0   0-1  4  2    6
Barnhill        12   2-4   0-0   1-2  0  1    6
Jackson          3   0-2   0-0   1-1  1  2    0
Cammaert        23   2-9   1-2   2-6  2  3    5
Tribul          10   1-3   0-2   2-4  0  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-65 10-16 16-31  9 21   58
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.323, FT-.625. 3-Point Goals:
6-23, .261 (Lambkin 1-5, Mcclure 0-2, Worley 1-2,
Bentick 2-5, Barnhill 2-4, Cammaert 0-5). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 4 (Fenn 2, Bush,
Barnhill). Turnovers: 15 (Lambkin 7, Bentick 2,
Cammaert 2, Worley 2, Mcclure, Sawyers). Steals:
5 (Mcclure 2, Cammaert, Sawyers, Worley).


XAVIER (88)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            25   3-6   2-2   4-7  1  2    8
Posey           33  5-10   3-4  3-15  3  3   14
Harris          22   3-5   2-5   2-3  0  2    8
L Brown         31  8-16   0-0   3-6  5  2   21
Lumpkin         24   2-8   3-4   0-2  3  3    7
Catarella        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Mcafee          20   3-4   4-4   0-1  6  1   11
A Brown          6   0-3   4-4   1-2  0  1    4
Robertson        1   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Careathers       1   0-0   2-2   0-1  0  0    2
Price           18   2-4   4-4   1-3  0  1    8
Walker          11   1-2   1-2   0-0  0  0    3
Baronas          1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Butler           6   0-1   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-60 25-31 14-41 19 16   88
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.467, FT-.806. 3-Point Goals:
7-18, .389 (Posey 1-3, L Brown 5-8, Lumpkin 0-5,
Mcafee 1-2). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 5
(Posey, Harris, L Brown, Walker, Butler).
Turnovers: 12 (Posey 3, Lumpkin 2, Mcafee 2, A
Brown, Butler, Frey, L Brown, Walker). Steals: 8
(Mcafee 3, Posey 2, Catarella, L Brown, Price).
__________________________________
Canisius           32   26  -   58
Xavier             40   48  -   88
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 8,326. Officials: Mark
Distrola, Merv Shapiro, Jack Sweeney.