Tuesday, March 16, 1999

XAVIER 87, WAKE FOREST 76


Musketeers hit record 13 three-pointers

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[posey]
James Posey flies in for a dunk.
(AP photo)

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        Thanks to the three-point shot, Xavier's season continues.

        The Musketeers set a school record with 13 threes and advanced to the third round of the National Invitation Tournament with an 87-76 victory over Wake Forest on Monday night.

        XU (23-10) will play Princeton (22-7), which defeated North Carolina State 61-58 on Monday night, at 7:30p.m Wednesday in the Cincinnati Gardens. The winner of that game goes to the NIT semifinals in Madison Square Garden in New York City next Tuesday.

        Xavier shot 54.2 percent from behind the arc (13-of-24) and outscored Wake Forest 39-9 on three-pointers. The Demon Deacons (17-14) averaged 6.2 threes a game but had just three in 15 attempts.

        “We scouted their zone (defense),” XU senior Lenny Brown said. “We just had to keep moving. Coach stressed having new faces in new places.”

[brown]
Lenny Brown goes up to block a shot.
(AP photo)

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        Brown, XU's career three-point leader, tied his career high with five and finished with 19 points. James Posey scored 23 points to lead the Musketeers, though he was held to a season-low three rebounds.

        Sophomore Maurice McAfee and freshman Lloyd Price, the only substitutes to play for XU, combined for 27 points and nine rebounds. McAfee scored 14 and Price 13.

        “I think they really raised our energy level,” XU coach Skip Prosser said of his reserves. “They gave us what you want off the bench — some offense, some aggressiveness, some deflections. They gave us a shot of adrenaline, which I think we needed.”

        For most of the second half, Wake Forest would close the gap, then Xavier would widen it.

        It was tied at 37, then XU went ahead by seven.

        Wake pulled within 46-44, then XU went ahead by eight.

        Wake cut it to 54-51, then XU went ahead by eight again.

        It was 63-60, then the Musketeers blew it open with a 13-5 run that brought the Cincinnati Gardens crowd of 8,712 to its feet.

[lumpkin]
Gary Lumpkin reacts to a foul call against him.
(Craig Ruttle photo)

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        “We just couldn't deliver the knockout blow,” Posey said. “Every time we'd get a spurt, we'd have a breakdown.”

        Price hit just his seventh three-pointer of the season to make it 73-65. He then got a defensive rebound, dribbled the length of the court and hit a jumper from just inside the foul line.

        After a Wake Forest timeout, Robert O'Kelley turned the ball over, and McAfee picked it up, then dunked for an 11-point XU advantage with 3:21 left.

        That was the ball game.

        “I tried to knock down the jumper without hesitating,” said Price, shooting just 18.4 percent on threes. “I've been in the gym a lot the last few weeks. There's no point practicing it if I'm not going to take it.

        “Coach always tells us if you have a problem, go at it head-on. Challenge your problems. That's what I did.”

        Said Prosser: “I trust him enough to know when he should shoot the ball and when he shouldn't. We don't want him looking at the bench.”

        Xavier won its 16th consecutive game at the Gardens — the ninth-longest home winning streak in the

        nation — and defeated an Atlantic Coast Conference team for the first time ever.

        “I can't imagine them playing a better basketball game,” Wake Forest coach Dave Odom said. “If they did, then they definitely deserved to be in the NCAA.”

        For almost the first 111/2 minutes, Brown had no points and Posey had no rebounds; Posey had none in the first half.

        Still, XU led 21-15. Then Brown drilled a three-pointer for a nine-point Musketeer advantage.

        After that, XU went four minutes without a field goal and had just two more the rest of the half. Only three first-half baskets were not three-pointers.

        Wake Forest finished the first half on a 17-8 run, and a jumper by Broderick Hicks with 54.6 seconds to go tied it 32-32 for intermission.

        “The first half, we stopped ourselves a lot,” Prosser said. “We became tentative against the zone.

        “I think we practiced poorly going into Toledo. A lot of that was a residue of what happened on Selection Sunday. The last three days of practice have been good. The seeds of victory were sewn in those three practice days.”

        The only time the Musketeers trailed all night was 2-0.

        XU forced 20 turnovers; Brown and Posey combined for nine steals.

        “Fatigue might've been a little bit of a problem for us,” Odom said.

        O'Kelley led Wake Forest with 36 points — 23 coming in the second half.

Xavier Stories
- XAVIER 87, WAKE FOREST 76
Tickets for Princeton game
XU NOTEBOOK
NIT ROUNDUP
Xavier women recovering from loss
MARCH MADNESS PAGE


WAKE FOREST (76)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Dawson          31  5-10   0-0   1-2  1  3   11
Songaila        32  6-14   4-4   5-8  4  4   16
Vidaurreta      31   3-5   1-1  2-12  0  4    7
Okelley         39 13-22  8-10   1-2  3  3   36
Amonett         17   0-0   0-0   0-2  0  3    0
Hicks           20   1-3   2-2   0-1  0  4    4
Murray          13   0-1   0-0   0-3  3  0    0
Scott            5   1-1   0-0   0-2  0  0    2
Shoemaker       12   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  3    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 29-57 15-17  9-32 12 24   76
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.509, FT-.882. 3-Point Goals: 3-15, .200 (Dawson 1-5, Vidaurreta 0-1, Okelley 2-6, Hicks 0-2, Murray 0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 1 (Songaila). Turnovers: 20 (Songaila 8, Okelley 3, Vidaurreta 3, Amonett 2, Hicks 2, Dawson, Scott). Steals: 6 (Vidaurreta 2, Amonett, Murray, Okelley, Songaila).

XAVIER (87) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Frey 33 2-7 1-3 4-7 2 3 5 Posey 35 5-10 11-13 1-3 2 3 23 Turner 24 1-4 1-4 2-4 1 3 3 L Brown 32 6-11 2-2 0-3 4 4 19 Lumpkin 30 3-6 2-2 0-3 2 1 10 Mcafee 25 4-8 3-4 1-5 2 1 14 Harris 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Price 20 4-7 4-5 2-4 1 0 13 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 25-53 24-33 10-29 14 15 87 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.472, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals: 13-24, .542 (Frey 0-1, Posey 2-6, L Brown 5-8, Lumpkin 2-3, Mcafee 3-5, Price 1-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked shots: 3 (Posey, L Brown, Mcafee). Turnovers: 14 (Lumpkin 5, Mcafee 3, Posey 3, Frey, L Brown, Price). Steals: 13 (Posey 5, L Brown 4, Mcafee 2, Price, Turner). __________________________________ Wake Forest 32 44 - 76 Xavier 32 55 - 87 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. A: 8,712. Officials: Tom Greywinski, John Blaucik, Joe Curtis.