Friday, March 26, 1999

XAVIER 106, OREGON 75


Brown, seniors go out with smile

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[lumpkin]
Gary Lumpkin, front, and Lenny Brown go out as winners.
(Craig Ruttle photo)

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        NEW YORK — In the end, they were smiling and laughing. On the bench. In the locker room.

        An up-and-down Xavier season, described afterward by several players as a roller coaster ride, ended with a rollicking 106-75 victory over Oregon in the National Invitation Tournament consolation game Thursday night before a sparse crowd at Madison Square Garden.

        Lost, at least momentarily, was the pain of Tuesday night's semifinal loss to Clemson. Lost, for the time being, was the disappointment of not making the NCAA tournament.

        The Musketeers finished 25-11, tied for the third-most victories in a season in school history.

        “I told the seniors many times, the last game is the one you remember most and let's make it special,” coach Skip Prosser said. “And I think they did that.”

[brown]
Brown, scrambling for a loose ball, scored 34 points.
(Craig Ruttle photo)

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        Senior guard Lenny Brown, coming off a game in which he was just 4-of-17 from the field against Clemson, scored a career-high 34 points with his mom, Jerina Brown, in the stands. He also had a career-high six three-pointers.

        “Hopefully I'll be able to play somewhere next year,” Brown said. “I just wanted to go into the offseason with a positive attitude.

        “(Coach) said this game would determine our legacy, for the seniors this would determine how we'd be remembered throughout Xavier history ... That's how we attacked it; we attacked it like how we wanted to leave our mark.”

        Senior James Posey was also coming off a bad game (3-of-12 shooting, one rebound), and he scored 17 points to go with seven assists and five rebounds.

[mcafee]
Maurice McAfee and Aaron Turner
(Craig Ruttle photo)

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        “It wasn't a great performance,” Posey said. “I just felt real bad ... after the Clemson game, and even the first half of this game things weren't going my way. I couldn't find myself. I was thinking negative a lot. I just left everything out (there) and kept my head up talking to Lenny and the coaches.”

        Sophomore Maurice McAfee came off the bench for 17 points, the third-best scoring total of his career.

        The game was a rout almost from the start.

        The Musketeers scored the game's first seven points and built a 31-10 lead with 10:25 left in the first half.

[harris]
Obi Harris blocks a shot.
(AP photo)

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        The Ducks (19-13) never got closer than 11 after that.

        “We were just on our game in every aspect,” senior guard Gary Lumpkin said.

        And so ends a strange season, one in which Xavier lost Darnell Williams four months before Midnight Madness, saw junior college transfer Desmond Walker leave the team in December, welcomed back a healthy Obi Harris, then an eligible Aaron Turner.

        The Musketeers rebounded from a 5-4 start and were on the brink of a third straight Atlantic 10 West Division title, only to lose on a last-second shot by George Washington's Shawnta Rogers.

        “It's been a real season of change and flux and unsettled lineups, and that's uncharacteristic of the way it was the two years prior,” Prosser said.

        Prosser maintains that his team deserved to be in the NCAA tournament, but is proud that it made the most out of its NIT bid, winning four of five games.

        “The one thing about this team that's been very impressive to me throughout the year has been its resiliency,” Prosser said. “They've been knocked down a lot, which is a microcosm of what they're going to face when they leave Xavier. And each and every time they've gotten up off the canvas.”

- XAVIER 106, OREGON 75
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OREGON (75)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Scales          27  4-10   1-1   2-5  1  1    9
Smith           17   4-5   0-0   1-4  1  0    8
Carson          13   1-5   1-2   0-2  1  2    3
Brown           32  6-20   0-0   3-3  3  4   14
Wright          24   4-6   3-3   1-1  2  3   13
Jones           31   5-8   4-4   1-8  3  4   14
Hartenstein     19   1-3   3-3   0-3  0  1    5
Rosemond        25   2-6   0-0   0-1  5  3    5
Christoffersen  12   2-7   0-0   1-2  0  3    4
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 29-70 12-13  9-29 16 21   75
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.414, FT-.923. 3-Point Goals: 5-20, .250 (Scales 0-2, Brown 2-9, Wright 2-3, Jones 0-2, Rosemond 1-4). Team rebounds: 6. Blocked shots: 3 (Scales 2, Jones). Turnovers: 19 (Scales 5, Jones 4, Brown 3, Wright 3, Carson, Hartenstein, Rosemond, Smith). Steals: 7 (Jones 3, Rosemond, Scales, Smith, Wright).

XAVIER (106) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Frey 22 1-8 2-2 0-3 1 1 4 Posey 31 5-9 4-6 2-5 7 4 17 Turner 23 1-2 3-4 3-5 2 2 5 L Brown 30 10-15 8-8 1-6 2 2 34 Lumpkin 29 3-6 1-2 0-2 1 3 7 Harris 9 2-3 0-0 0-0 0 0 4 Mcafee 25 6-10 2-3 1-5 3 2 17 Price 24 2-7 3-4 2-6 1 2 8 A Brown 5 3-4 2-2 1-3 0 0 8 Butler 2 1-1 0-1 0-1 0 0 2 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 34-65 25-32 10-36 17 16 106 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.523, FT-.781. 3-Point Goals: 13-29, .448 (Frey 0-2, Posey 3-6, L Brown 6-10, Lumpkin 0-2, Mcafee 3-6, Price 1-2, A Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 3 (A Brown 2, Posey). Turnovers: 14 (Harris 3, Posey 3, L Brown 2, Lumpkin 2, A Brown, Mcafee, Price, Turner). Steals: 13 (L Brown 3, Price 3, Frey 2, Posey 2, A Brown, Butler, Lumpkin). __________________________________ Oregon 29 46 - 75 Xavier 45 61 - 106 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Officials: Jeffery Bryant, David Elliott, Mike Brophy.