Tuesday, February 16, 1999

Xavier looks for revenge against LaSalle

Victory also would clinch A-10 tourney bye

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Senior guard Lenny Brown does not lack motivation for tonight's game against La Salle (7 p.m., Cincinnati Gardens).

        For starters, Xavier's leading scorer (17 ppg) is coming off a 1-for-13 shooting performance against Temple on Sunday; he finished with just six points.

        And, the last time the Musketeers faced LaSalle, Brown was held to eight points on 3-of-12 shooting.

• When: 7 p.m. today
• Where: Cincinnati Gardens (10,100)
• Records: La Salle 10-12, 6-6 Atlantic 10; Xavier 18-8, 10-2 Atlantic 10
• TV: None
• Radio: WLW-AM (700)
• Tickets: $9, $13
• 202: Career three-pointers by Gary Lumpkin and Lenny Brown; they are tied for the school record.
• 7: Three-pointers needed by Brown to tie Xavier's single-season record held by Jeff Massey (77).
12-1: Xavier's record when it wins the rebounding battle.
        In the two games combined, he was 0-of-14 from three-point range.

        “I want to get back to playing, I don't care who it is,” Brown said Monday. “I just want to redeem myself.”

        The wounds are fresh.

        LaSalle's surprising 88-75 upset victory in Philadelphia came just 10 days ago. The Explorers (10-12) have played only one game since, beating Fordham, and are in third place in the Atlantic 10 West Division at 6-6.

        A Xavier victory tonight would clinch a first-round bye in the conference tournament for the Musketeers (18-7) and George Washington (16-6), both tied for first place in the West at 10-2.

        LaSalle coach Speedy Morris doesn't think Xavier coach Skip Prosser will even have to open the door to the locker room tonight.

        “They're just going to run through it,” Morris said. “They'll be waiting for us, no question.”

        The Explorers ended a 13-game losing streak to Xavier with a solid afternoon offensively and defensively.

        “They humbled us,” Prosser said. “There was really no phase of the game they didn't dominate us. It wasn't that we weren't trying or that we played horrifically; they just played extremely well.”

        “It makes you want to work harder and concentrate more so the same thing doesn't happen,” XU senior James Posey said.

        LaSalle junior Donnie Carr blanketed Brown, and scored a game-high 24 points in that game.

        It was a particularly upsetting showing for Brown because his mother, family and friends were in the stands.

        “I'll tell you I'm not going to play the same way I played when we were in Philly,” Brown said.

        Against Temple's zone defense, Brown said he had mostly open looks at the basket but his shot just wasn't falling.

        “I don't think I played as well as I need to play, but we won and I'm happy about that,” Brown said. “That was a big win for the team.”

        Xavier puts a 13-game winning streak at the Gardens on the line against a team that has never won in the building.

        While LaSalle is 9-2 at home this season, it is 1-10 away from Gola Arena. The Explorers have already won more league games (six) than in their first three full seasons in the Atlantic 10. The next step is winning away from home.

        “We're certainly not road warriors,” Morris said. “We're not there yet, and we know that.

        “We know we're going to have to play better than we played against them here if we expect to win. We know it's going to be intense. We've got to be equal to the challenge. To be a good team, you have to beat the Xaviers of the world on a consistent basis.”

        Carr, who averages 39.5 minutes a game, has been his team's leading scorer the past three years but this season has embraced his role as a defender, too, as LaSalle has gone to more man-to-man defense.

        He held Fordham's leading scorer, Bevon Robin, to nine points last Wednesday night.

        “One knock on Donnie was his defense,” Morris said. “Now he's taking pride in it. He's always playing the opponent's best perimeter player and doing a very good job at it.”

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