XAVIER 97, LOYOLA MARYMOUNT 52
Lumpkin, shot are reunited

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[lumpkin]
"This is the greatest thing that could happen," Gary Lumpkin said.
(AP photo)

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Gary Lumpkin was not showing a lot of emotion. After leaving the game with 5:09 to go, he sat on the bench with a towel draped across both legs. Calm, cool.

But the crowd sensed it. His teammates sensed it. This was the game everybody had been waiting for.

At least for one night, Xavier's senior point guard regained his shooting touch and looked like the Gary Lumpkin of old.

Lumpkin scored a season-high 21 points in the Musketeers' 97-52 rout of Loyola Marymount on Monday night.

“I was just trying to keep a straight face the whole way,” Lumpkin said. “ ... If I made a big shot, I wanted to make it seem like I knew it was going down. I didn't want to have a big parade like, man, the world's off my shoulders.”

Lumpkin was 8-of-10 from the field and made 3-of-5 three-point attempts. He scored seven of XU's first nine points in the second half and had his season high with 17:40 still remaining. He also finished with four assists and just one turnover.

It was Lumpkin's best offensive output since he scored 31 last season against George Washington — 18 games ago.

[brown]
Lenny Brown goes after a loose ball.
(Steven M. Herppich photo)

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“I was just praying all day long,” Lumpkin said. “This is the greatest thing that could happen before going into a three-day break (from practice). I think it will carry over to the rest of the season. It's behind me now. It was pretty much a breakout game here; it's just a matter of consistency.

“I'm happy for myself, but I'm not as happy for myself as I am for my team ... I want to see the team do well.”

The four-year starter has been struggling most of this season. He came in shooting career-lows of 34.4 percent from the field and 16 percent from three-point range (8-of-50).

Coach Skip Prosser said after Saturday night's game against Canisius that he has told Lumpkin: “If it's leather and you're off the bus, shoot it.”

And Lumpkin came out firing Monday night. After Obi Harris' jump shot gave XU its first points, Lumpkin followed with a medium-range jumper, a transition layup and a three-pointer that brought applause from the Cincinnati Gardens crowd of 8,957. Lumpkin made his first five shots and had 11 points at halftime.

“Relief for him, but really for the team,” Prosser said. “We need him to shoot the ball and play well. I've felt it was just a question of time before it happened. Now the challenge for Gary is to do it again and again and again, and I believe he will.”

Lumpkin got plenty of help. Backcourt mate Lenny Brown, who started 1-for-6 from the field, finished with 15 points on 6-of-13 shooting along with six assists and five steals.

[frey]
Kevin Frey knocks the ball loose.
(AP photo)

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Maurice McAfee came off the bench for 15 points and Lloyd Price for 13. James Posey added 12 points and five assists, and Harris had nine points and five blocked shots.

Harris, inserted into the starting lineup the past two games, has made a difference.

“He's been waiting for this opportunity,” Posey said. “He's a presence in the key. He's blocking shots, and he's showing his offensive skills. He's worked hard, so I'm happy for him.”

Loyola Marymount (4-6) was overmatched, but this was more a case of Xavier playing up to its potential. The Musketeers (7-4) looked as cohesive on both ends of the court as they have all season.

“Looking at them in the locker room, I think this is the best they've felt about one another,” Prosser said.

“I thought we really shared the ball well. Nobody really cares right now who gets the points or the minutes or the playing time. It only lasts until the next game; after 26 years of doing this, I understand that. But I feel good about us now. I think we have a chance to be a good, solid basketball team.”

XU NOTEBOOK: Price all right with reserve role


LOYOLA MARYMNT (52)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Mashack         23   3-8   0-0   2-3  1  1    8
Wolfe           30   1-8   0-0   1-5  0  2    2
Kainga          26   0-3   0-0   2-6  1  4    0
Eaddy           32   1-5   0-0   0-1  4  2    2
Allen           19   5-9   0-1   0-1  3  4   13
Kennedy          9   2-4   0-0   1-2  0  1    5
Evelyn           5   0-2   0-0   1-1  1  3    0
Davis           17   4-7   2-2   0-1  2  1   14
Saucedo         14   1-2   0-0   0-0  1  3    3
Moore           11   1-3   0-0   1-2  0  4    2
Mcclendon       14   1-6   0-0   0-0  1  1    3
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 19-57   2-3  8-22 14 26   52
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.333, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
12-27, .444 (Mashack 2-5, Wolfe 0-3, Eaddy 0-3,
Allen 3-5, Kennedy 1-1, Evelyn 0-1, Davis 4-5,
Saucedo 1-1, Moore 0-1, Mcclendon 1-2). Team
rebounds: 8. Blocked shots: 1 (Kainga).
Turnovers: 33 (Allen 7, Wolfe 5, Eaddy 4,
Mcclendon 4, Evelyn 2, Kainga 2, Kennedy 2, Moore
2, Mashack, Saucedo). Steals: 6 (Eaddy 2, Kennedy
2, Allen, Wolfe).


XAVIER (97)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            25   2-4   3-4   1-7  2  1    7
Posey           31   4-7   4-5   0-5  5  3   12
Harris          25   3-4   3-6   0-0  1  0    9
L Brown         28  6-13   0-0   3-6  6  1   15
Lumpkin         27  8-10   2-2   1-3  4  2   21
Catarella        1   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    3
Mcafee          19   3-4   6-8   0-2  3  0   15
A Brown          8   0-2   0-1   0-3  0  0    0
Robertson        2   1-2   0-0   1-2  1  0    2
Careathers       1   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Price           23   3-5  7-10   2-4  1  2   13
Baronas          2   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Butler           8   0-1   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 31-54 25-36  8-34 24  9   97
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.574, FT-.694. 3-Point Goals:
10-20, .500 (Posey 0-2, L Brown 3-6, Lumpkin 3-5,
Catarella 1-1, Mcafee 3-4, A Brown 0-1, Price
0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 7 (Harris
5, L Brown, Baronas). Turnovers: 17 (Mcafee 4,
Price 3, Harris 2, L Brown 2, Posey 2, A Brown,
Butler, Frey, Lumpkin). Steals: 14 (L Brown 5,
Mcafee 3, Harris 2, Posey 2, Frey, Price).
__________________________________
Loyola Marymnt     25   27  -   52
Xavier             44   53  -   97
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Loyola Marymnt 1 ().  A: 8,957.
Officials: Jim Jenkins, Jackie Sanders, John
Larocca.
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