Sunday, February 07, 1999

LaSALLE 88, XAVIER 75


Lenny can't carry Muskies this day

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PHILADELPHIA — Lenny Brown came out of Saturday's game with 10:27 left, dropped his head and draped a towel over it. He stayed that way for nearly two minutes.

        “I wasn't helping us at all,” Brown said later.

        Xavier's senior guard has carried the team for much of the past month and a half, but Saturday wasn't his day.

        LaSalle pulled off its biggest victory in four years in the Atlantic 10 Conference, upsetting the Musketeers 88-75 before 3,629 fans at Tom Gola Arena.

        LaSalle, which had lost 13 straight games to XU, blew a 42-42 game open in the second half with an 18-4 run. During that stretch, Xavier had just one field goal and Brown had four turnovers and an air ball on a three-point try.

        The Explorers had last beaten Xavier in December, 1980.

        “It's the biggest win since I've been here,” La Salle junior Donnie Carr said. “It just feels good to finally beat Xavier because they're at the top of our league every year, (and) they go to the (NCAA) tournament.”

        Carr was most responsible for the victory.

        Not only did he lead all scorers with 24 points to go with a team-high 11 rebounds, he also blanketed Brown, XU's leading scorer (17.9 ppg).

        Brown was clearly frustrated. He finished with just eight points on 3-of-12 shooting. He was 0-of-5 from three-point range — his first game without a three since Xavier's NCAA Tournament loss to Washington last March.

        “I have a lot of respect for Lenny Brown's game,” Carr said. “I took it as a challenge. I just tried to get up in him and force him to do things he didn't like.

        “He's not the type of player you leave. If he gets a wide-open look, you might as well say that's just like a layup. I wouldn't even disrespect him by leaving him open to go help somebody else. I just had to stay on him and play hard.”

        Brown had scored in double figures 13 consecutive games and averaged 22.2 points since Jan. 1. The past five games, he had averaged 25 points.

        He did not want to talk about Carr's defense afterward.

        “I've got nothing to say about that,” Brown said. “ ... I just was missing. That's all.”

        Xavier blew an opportunity to take over sole possession of first place in the Atlantic 10 West Division.

        George Washington had lost earlier in the day at Virginia Tech to fall to 14-6, 8-2 A-10. Xavier has lost three of four and is 16-7, 8-2, tied with the Colonials.

        LaSalle (9-12, 5-6) played well Saturday from beginning to end. It shot 56 percent from the field in the first half and went into the locker room with a 36-34 lead.

        The Musketeers tied it at 42 early in the second half, but that 18-4 run put LaSalle up 60-46 with 9:48 to play.

        The Explorers led by 14 points with 9:48 to play.

        “We couldn't stop them all night,” XU coach Skip Prosser said. “The only way to stop them was to foul them, and that's not good.”

        La Salle finished 27-of-36 from the foul line, including 13-of-16 in the final 21/2 minutes.

        Xavier had cut it to 68-63 with 4:28 left, but LaSalle point guard Julian Blanks fired a line-drive pass into Victor Thomas, who went up and dunked it.

        The Musketeers were never that close again.

        “We thought we were in the game,” XU senior Gary Lumpkin said. “We thought if we got some stops we could pull the game out.

        “They made some tough shots, and they played well defensively. It's very unexpected. We know that whenever we don't come to play, we can get beat easily.”

        James Posey led Xavier with 18 points and 12 rebounds for his 10th double-double of the season. Lumpkin added 15 points, and Maurice McAfee came off the bench for 12.

        Carr, second in the A-10 in scoring and third in assists, came in averaging 17.5 points in four career games against the Musketeers, shooting a combined 29.7 percent from the field (19-of-64). In the past, Xavier had been able to help out in guarding Carr, but LaSalle has too many weapons to do that now.

        He finished 7-of-13 from the field Saturday.

        “He's a pretty good player, but that's the best I've seen him,” Prosser said.

Notebook: Price earns start but doesn't finish


XAVIER (75)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Price           15   2-3   1-1   0-1  0  5    5
Posey           39  7-14   2-4  3-12  1  5   18
Frey            24   3-9   2-2   4-5  0  5    8
L Brown         36  3-12   2-2   0-4  4  3    8
Lumpkin         39  6-10   2-2   0-1  2  4   15
Mcafee          28  4-11   2-2   0-0  1  3   12
A Brown          1   0-1   2-2   0-0  1  1    2
Turner          18   3-3   1-2   0-0  0  1    7
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-63 14-17  7-23  9 27   75
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.444, FT-.824. 3-Point Goals:
5-23, .217 (Posey 2-5, Frey 0-1, L Brown 0-5,
Lumpkin 1-5, Mcafee 2-7). Team rebounds: 5.
Blocked shots: 1 (Posey). Turnovers: 10 (L Brown
4, Frey 2, Posey 2, Lumpkin, Mcafee). Steals: 6
(Lumpkin 2, Price 2, L Brown, Turner).


LA SALLE (88)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Thomas          39  6-11   4-6   2-6  1  2   19
Butler          39  5-12   6-6   0-2  2  2   17
Wesson          30   5-8  7-11  6-10  1  4   17
Blanks          38   2-5   2-4   0-3  2  3    6
Carr            39  7-13   8-9  1-11  4  2   24
Sidebotham       1   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
J Jordan         2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Wilson           1   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    3
Bragg           11   1-2   0-0   1-3  0  2    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 27-53 27-36 10-35 11 17   88
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.509, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals:
7-17, .412 (Thomas 3-5, Butler 1-4, Blanks 0-1,
Carr 2-5, Sidebotham 0-1, Wilson 1-1). Team
rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 2 (Wesson, Carr).
Turnovers: 13 (Blanks 5, Carr 4, Thomas 3,
Wesson). Steals: 3 (Thomas 2, Wesson).
__________________________________
Xavier             34   41  -   75
La Salle           36   52  -   88
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 3,629. Officials: Rich
Sanfillipo, Merv Shapiro, Ron Foxcroft.

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