Saturday, March 6, 1999

TEMPLE 76, XAVIER 64


Late drought lets Owls say good night

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[frey]
Temple's Rasheed Brokenborough drives on Kevin Frey.
(AP photo)

| ZOOM |
        PHILADELPHIA — It all fell apart for Xavier in the last 31/2 minutes. Temple hit some big threes. The Musketeers couldn't buy a basket.

        That combination enabled the Owls to pull away for a 76-64 victory Friday night in the semifinals of the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament.

        The game was not as lopsided as the score indicates.

        XU was within 62-59 with 3:38 to play, then missed eight consecutive three-point tries until James Posey hit one with 8.7 seconds left.

        Too little, too late.

        “We scrapped, we just couldn't make some shots down the stretch,” XU coach Skip Prosser said.

[mcafee]
Maurice McAfee fouls Mark Karcher in pursuit of the ball.
(AP photo)

| ZOOM |
        Xavier, the defending tournament champion, is 21-10 and must rely on the NCAA Tournament selection committee to award an at-large bid Sunday when the 64-team field is announced.

        “I ain't nervous,” senior guard Lenny Brown said. “I think we had a good enough run; we should be in the NCAA.”

        Said Prosser: “I think we're in. It depends on the perception of the league. Losing to Temple in Philly I don't think is a huge disgrace.”

        Temple (21-9) advances to the championship game at 6 p.m. today against the winner of Friday night's George Washington-Rhode Island game. It is the Owls' first appearance in the title game since '96; it has not won the tourney championship since '90.

        The Owls won Friday night's game inside. They outrebounded XU 43-29, had 18 offensive rebounds and outscored Xavier in the paint 42-9.

        “Coach mentioned before the game (that) we might do a good job of boxing out, play good "D' for 30 seconds or so, and the ball might take a bad bounce and go over our heads, but we had to have that discipline to try to do it again,” senior Gary Lumpkin said. “Overall, their size overcame us trying to push back.”

        Clinging to a three-point lead, Temple got back-to-back three-pointers from freshman Mark Karcher and senior Rasheed Brokenborough. The second one made it 68-59 with 2:17 remaining.

        That was the game. The hometown crowd at the First Union Spectrum knew it.

        “We just started rushing shots,” Brown said. “They did a good job of forcing us out where we really couldn't get any clean open looks at the basket. We should've started driving more. I think the pressure got to us that we could lose the game and we just started jacking threes.”

        Xavier tied a team record with 12 three-pointers and set a record with 36 attempts.

        The Musketeers' backcourt got some personal redemption despite the loss.

        In the first game between the teams — which the Muske teers won 62-60 — Xavier shot a season-low 28.8 percent from the field. Lumpkin and Brown were a combined 2-of-19 from the field and 1-of-14 from three-point range that day; they had more field goals Friday night less than five minutes into the game.

        Lumpkin finished with a team-high 19 points, seven assists and tied a career high with five three-pointers. It was Lumpkin's most productive offensive game since he scored 25 against UC in the Crosstown Shootout.

        He had not made as many as three three-pointers in a game since Feb. 4 at St. Joseph's, and he had been 6-of-24 from long range since. The last time he had five was during his sophomore season.

        “I was feeling it,” Lumpkin said. “I was just trying to be aggressive for myself and for my teammates.

        “There were a couple threes I shot, and I'm like, "Oh my God, I can't believe this is coming back to me again.' It was like deja vu. One time I came down in transition and just pulled up without thinking about it. I think that's when I'm at my best, when I'm just shooting and not thinking about it.”

        Brown and Posey each added 15 points, but Brown was held to just five in the second half and Posey was held to a season-low seven rebounds.

        Xavier led 30-28 at halftime after outscoring the Owls 13-3 in the final 51/2 minutes. Temple missed its last 12 first-half field goal attempts and didn't have one in the final 71/2 minutes.

        But the Owls shot 55.6 percent in the second half. Karcher — held to two first-half points because of foul trouble — went on to finish with 19. Brokenborough scored 13 of his 22 in the second half. Lamont Barnes had 16 points and 14 rebounds.

        “We tried man (defense), we tried zone, we tried different types of pressure, and they sort of answered all that,” Prosser said. “Now it's time to go home and get ready for Sunday.”

XU's rebounding weakness exposed Tim Sullivan column
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Odom, Rhode Island storm into final


XAVIER (64)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            30   3-4   0-0   3-6  0  1    6
Posey           28   4-8   4-4   3-7  0  4   15
Turner          34   1-3   1-3   3-6  0  1    3
L Brown         40  6-16   0-0   0-4  3  3   15
Lumpkin         37  6-12   2-4   1-3  7  4   19
Mcafee          15   1-8   0-0   0-0  2  3    3
Price           16   1-3   1-2   0-2  2  3    3
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-54  8-13 10-28 14 19   64
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.407, FT-.615. 3-Point Goals:
12-36, .333 (Frey 0-1, Posey 3-7, L Brown 3-10,
Lumpkin 5-10, Mcafee 1-8). Team rebounds: 1.
Blocked shots: 2 (Posey, Turner). Turnovers: 12
(Lumpkin 4, Price 3, L Brown 2, Posey 2, Turner).
Steals: 3 (Lumpkin 2, Posey).


TEMPLE (76)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Karcher         26  6-13   4-4   5-9  2  3   19
Barnes          40  7-10   2-5  5-14  3  4   16
Lyde            37   5-9  4-10   3-8  0  3   14
Sanchez         40   1-8   2-3   1-3  5  2    5
Brokenborough   40  7-15   4-6   1-5  4  1   22
Sanders         16   0-3   0-0   1-1  1  1    0
Rollerson        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 26-58 16-28 16-40 15 15   76
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.448, FT-.571. 3-Point Goals:
8-23, .348 (Karcher 3-7, Sanchez 1-5,
Brokenborough 4-9, Sanders 0-2). Team rebounds:
3. Blocked shots: 2 (Lyde 2). Turnovers: 6
(Brokenborough 2, Barnes, Karcher, Lyde,
Sanchez). Steals: 7 (Sanchez 3, Barnes 2, Lyde 2).
__________________________________
Xavier             30   34  -   64
Temple             28   48  -   76
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None. Officials: Rich
Sanfillipo, Bryan Kersey, Joe Mingle.


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