Friday, February 05, 1999

XAVIER 59, ST. JOSEPH'S 53


Lumpkin's threes pull out victory

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PHILADELPHIA — Gary Lumpkin had not made a basket in a week. He missed six shots at Dayton last Saturday. He missed his first six shots Thursday night at St. Joseph's.

        At halftime, his head was down. Xavier coach Skip Prosser was all over him.

        “I knew I had to step up,” Lumpkin said.

        He did, and just in the nick of time.

        Xavier's senior point guard hit three three-pointers in the final eight minutes, including the game-tying shot and another that put the Musketeers ahead for good.

        All of which allowed XU to escape with a 59-53 victory over the Hawks after outscoring them 14-3 in the final 3:47.

        “I thought it was very prudent of him to make a couple there and earn his scholarship,” Prosser said.

        Xavier (16-6, 8-1) ended a two-game losing streak and tied George Washington (14-5, 8-1) for first place in the Atlantic 10 West Division.

        Lenny Brown led the Musketeers with 26 points. James Posey added 12 and Lumpkin 11. The rest of the Musketeers totaled 10 points. Lumpkin's mother and several siblings were in the stands, as was Lumpkin's and Brown's high school coach, Jim Phillips.

        St. Joseph's (9-12, 3-6) has lost five in a row overall and four of its last five games against Xavier. Freshman center Damian Reid had a career-high 23 points and 13 rebounds.

        XU was outrebounded 39-32 and gave up 17 offensive boards.

        Still, the game was up for grabs the entire second half.

        The Musketeers trailed 50-45 at the final media timeout with 3:47 left. St. Joseph's turned the ball over, and XU converted with a Brown layup.

        Then Andre Howard missed a short running jumper for the Hawks. XU pushed the ball up the floor, and Lumpkin nailed a three over the outstretched arm of N'aim Crenshaw to tie it with two minutes left.

        As soon as Lumpkin got the pass from Maurice McAfee, he knew he was going to shoot it. When he did, he thought it was short.

        “The only thing I was thinking at that point was I'd better make it or I'm getting yelled at,” Lumpkin said. “It doesn't matter. I've been getting yelled at for four years.”

        After St. Joe's missed a baseline jumper, Xavier again got the ball to Lumpkin, who dropped in another three-pointer from the same spot as the previous one.

        “That's what we need him to do,” Posey said.

        Xavier led 53-50 with 1:19 remaining. The building went silent.

        Timeout Xavier.

        Hawks guard Larry Jennings turned the ball over on an offensive foul, bowling over Brown on his way to the basket. McAfee missed a jumper for the Musketeers, but Posey rebounded and got the ball to Brown, who was fouled. He made two foul shots to make it 55-50 with 26.9 seconds left. It was XU's biggest lead of the game.

        “This is one that I'm really proud of,” Brown said. “Nobody played great. We stuck together and found a way to win.”

        St. Joe's Alumni Memorial Fieldhouse (3,200) is typically a tough place to play. The game was announced as a sellout but several seats were empty, and Thursday night lacked the electricity of two years ago when the Hawks ripped XU there.

        The end of the first half summed up Xavier's play for much of the night. The Musketeers played great defense during the final possession. Then St. Joe's Reid got the ball inside and went up for a layup. XU freshman Lloyd Price blocked the shot, but Reid got the rebound and scored with 3.5 seconds to go.

        It was tied 24-24 at halftime, and the Musketeers may have been fortunate for that. They shot just 34.5 percent from the field in the first half, never got to the foul line and were outrebounded 24-13, including 10 offensive boards by the Hawks.

        Posey and Brown were a two-man offensive show for most of the half, combining to score Xavier's first 20 points. No other player scored for the first 16:14. Brown missed his first four shots, then hit five of his next seven. He had 12 at intermission.

        “Guys couldn't find any rhythm,” Brown said. “We just had to settle down and get more people involved. They usually feed off me, and I've got to get started early. I tried to provide a spark, but I couldn't get going on the offensive end.”

XU NOTEBOOK
SEASON IN STORIES

 
XAVIER (59)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            30   3-6   0-0   1-5  0  3    6
Posey           35   4-8   2-2   3-8  0  3   12
Harris          14   0-0   0-0   1-4  0  1    0
L Brown         38 10-20   4-5   1-3  3  3   26
Lumpkin         31   3-9   2-2   0-3  3  1   11
Mcafee          20   1-4   2-2   0-1  3  1    4
Price           21   0-5   0-0   0-2  1  2    0
Turner          11   0-1   0-0   2-2  1  2    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 21-53 10-11  8-28 11 16   59
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.396, FT-.909. 3-Point Goals:
7-23, .304 (Frey 0-1, Posey 2-4, L Brown 2-9,
Lumpkin 3-7, Mcafee 0-1, Price 0-1). Team
rebounds: 4. Blocked shots: 5 (Posey 2, Price 2,
Turner). Turnovers: 13 (Mcafee 3, Posey 3,
Lumpkin 2, Price 2, Turner 2, Frey). Steals: 6
(Posey 2, Frey, Harris, L Brown, Mcafee).


ST JOSEPHS PA (53)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Howard          34  2-11   0-0   0-4  1  2    4
Haskins         24   3-5   0-0   1-3  3  1    7
Reid            37  8-15   7-9  9-13  0  3   23
Crenshaw        36  3-13   1-4   2-7  4  2    8
Jennings        27   1-4   2-2   0-2  2  2    4
Brown           22   1-5   0-0   0-1  3  3    3
Wilkins         17   1-4   0-0   4-6  1  3    2
Sazanov          3   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  2    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-58 10-15 16-36 14 18   53
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.345, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
3-11, .273 (Haskins 1-1, Crenshaw 1-4, Jennings
0-1, Brown 1-3, Wilkins 0-2). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 5 (Reid 4, Wilkins). Turnovers: 15
(Crenshaw 5, Howard 3, Haskins 2, Jennings 2,
Brown, Reid, Sazanov). Steals: 6 (Crenshaw 2,
Haskins, Howard, Jennings, Wilkins).
__________________________________
Xavier             24   35  -   59
St Josephs Pa      24   29  -   53
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 3,200. Officials: Bill
Gracey, Larry Lembo, Arnie Mcdonald.


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