Sunday, January 24, 1999

XAVIER 93, VIRGINIA TECH 69


Posey has the game of his life

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[posey]
James Posey steals the ball from Eddie Lucas.
(AP photo)

| ZOOM |
        James Posey dived to the floor for a loose ball, and when he got up he was holding his aching back. An official came over to see if he was hurt and needed to come off the floor.

        “I said, naw, that's all right. I didn't plan on coming out,” Posey said.

        Not a chance.

        He was playing his most complete game as a college player Saturday.

        The senior forward fired all his arsenal at both ends of the court in Xavier's 93-69 victory over Virginia Tech.

        Posey finished with 22 points, 13 rebounds, a career-high nine assists and seven steals. He scored Xavier's first 11 points and tied a career-high with four three-pointers.

        “He's an NBA player,” Virginia Tech coach Bobby Hussey said. “He'll be making more money than a lot of us over the next couple years. I knew he could do everything he did today. When you have a great player like that and you have great players around him, that makes him even greater.”

[turner]
Aaron Turner rebounds.
(Aimee Obidzinski photo)

| ZOOM |
        Posey collected his eighth double-double of the season and 23rd of his career. He was thisclose to a triple-double. In the final three minutes, freshman Lloyd Price missed an open-court dunk and Alvin Brown missed a fastbreak layup in traffic, both on passes from Posey.

        Afterward, Posey smiled and shook his head. He didn't know he was on the brink.

        “I knew when I was passing the ball they were knocking down their shots, but I didn't know I had that many assists,” he said. “Nine? Shoot, that's a lot for me.”

        “This is the game in many ways that we've been looking for from him all year,” Xavier coach Skip Prosser said. “When he shoots the ball like he did today, I say, "Well, that's the James Posey who worked hard all summer and qualified for the Goodwill Games team.'”

        Posey had two threes in the first 4:20, tying a season high. The only other time he made four three-pointers was the opener of the 1997-98 season against Toledo. He had six his entire sophomore year.

        His first half statistical line would've been a good game for many players. In the first 20 minutes, he had 17 points, five rebounds, four steals and three assists.

        “I just shot the ball with a lot of confidence,” he said. “There wasn't any magic to it. I was open, my teammates got me the ball and I was able to knock down the shots.”

[frey]
Kevin Frey scrambles for a loose ball.
(Aimee Obidzinski photo)

| ZOOM |
        A sellout crowd of 10,100 at the Gardens saw the Musketeers tie a school record with 12 three-pointers.

        Senior Lenny Brown also had 22 points. Maurice McAfee came off the bench to add 16 points, and Price had 13.

        Xavier's 10th straight victory matches its winning streak to start the 1996-97 season. The school-record is 15 in a row, which will be no easy task given that the next four games are on the road (at Cincinnati, at Dayton, at St. Joseph's, at La Salle).

        The Musketeers (15-4) and Temple (13-6) are the only unbeaten teams in Atlantic 10 Conference play at 7-0.

        Now, of course, the talk turns to Thursday night's Skyline Chili Crosstown Shootout with the Bearcats. In fact, it was the first question of the postgame news conference.

        “I knew that was coming up real soon,” senior Gary Lumpkin said. “I guess now we don't have a choice but to think about them.”

        McAfee: “Everyone is mak ing it out to be all of that. I mean, they're No. 5 in the nation, but this is just another game. We're going to approach them just like we approach anyone else. We don't look at it as being that big of a deal.”

        Prosser: “The older guys will tell the younger guys what it's like, and it'll make absolutely no difference, because the younger guys aren't going to believe until they get hit in the face with it by a frying pan (like) Wile E. Coyote.”

        Saturday's was a close game for 14 minutes. Then Xavier took over.

        Virginia Tech went ahead 24-21 on a three-pointer with 6:21 left in the first half. But that was the Hokies' last field goal before intermission.

        The Musketeers scored 14 straight points and finished the half with a 21-1 run that gave them a 42-25 lead.

        There was no reason to play the second half.

        Virginia Tech had 14 first-half turnovers and finished with 21. The Hokies, who average 16.5 turnovers a game, had 23 in the first game between the teams. Point guard Brendan Dunlop, who averages 3.6 turnovers, has totaled 15 in two outings against Xavier this season.

        “When they play as well and shoot the ball as well as they did today, I don't see anybody in the league beating them,” Hussey said.

Notebook: Brown has shot, but not defense
Let's get ready to ... hype
Shootout 'bigger than the calendar'
Crosstown highlights


VIRGINIA TECH (69)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Roberts         24   6-9  7-11   1-5  0  3   19
Ray             14   0-1   0-0   1-1  0  1    0
Wheeler         26   2-8   1-3   0-1  2  3    5
Dunlop          35   2-4   2-2   0-4  0  2    6
Lucas           35  7-11   1-2   0-3  2  2   19
Kimbrough       18   2-4   1-3   0-2  2  2    7
Whaley          13   1-3   0-0   0-0  1  1    3
Floyd            2   0-0   0-2   1-1  0  1    0
Viegas           3   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Mims            25   3-4   4-6   2-4  4  3   10
Tor              5   0-0   0-0   0-1  1  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-44 16-29  5-23 12 18   69
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.523, FT-.552. 3-Point Goals:
7-18, .389 (Roberts 0-2, Ray 0-1, Dunlop 0-1,
Lucas 4-8, Kimbrough 2-3, Whaley 1-3). Team
rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Mims, Tor,
Wheeler). Turnovers: 21 (Dunlop 5, Lucas 3,
Roberts 3, Kimbrough 2, Ray 2, Wheeler 2, Floyd,
Mims, Tor). Steals: 8 (Roberts 4, Wheeler 2,
Dunlop, Whaley).


XAVIER (93)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            17   2-5   0-0   3-4  0  4    4
Posey           35  8-12   2-2  4-13  9  4   22
Harris          14   0-1   0-0   0-1  0  3    0
L Brown         32  9-14   0-1   1-3  1  3   22
Lumpkin         28   2-9   3-4   0-1  4  0    8
Mcafee          18   5-7   4-4   1-1  2  1   16
A Brown          4   0-3   2-2   0-1  0  1    2
Robertson        1   0-1   0-1   1-1  0  0    0
Price           23   4-6   4-7   0-2  1  1   13
Turner          21   2-2   2-4   0-1  0  3    6
Baronas          2   0-1   0-0   1-1  0  0    0
Butler           4   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Catarella        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 32-61 17-25 11-29 17 21   93
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.525, FT-.680. 3-Point Goals:
12-27, .444 (Frey 0-1, Posey 4-7, L Brown 4-8,
Lumpkin 1-5, Mcafee 2-4, A Brown 0-1, Price 1-1).
Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 2 (Price,
Harris). Turnovers: 14 (Harris 4, Lumpkin 4,
Posey 4, A Brown, L Brown). Steals: 15 (Posey 7,
L Brown 3, Price 3, Mcafee, Turner).
__________________________________
Virginia Tech      25   44  -   69
Xavier             42   51  -   93
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 10,100. Officials: Tom
Scott, George Watts, Ron Foxcroft.


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