Friday, November 26, 1999

Xavier 81, Louisville 79


Musketeers win Alaska Shootout opener

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[xavier]
Xavier's Aaron Turner and David West battles Louisville's Dion Edward for a rebound.
(AP photo)

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        ANCHORAGE, Ak. -- There has never been a finish to a Xavier game quite like this one.

        The Musketeers battled their way to an 81-79 victory over Louisville in the first round of the Great Alaska Shootout on Thursday night, surviving their first true test of the young season.

        XU (2-0) plays Kansas (2-0) in the Shootout semifinals at midnight today (ESPN, WKRC-AM 550). Kansas beat Georgia 88-78 Thursday night.

        The other Shootout semifinal pits Georgia Tech against Washington at 9:30 p.m. ET.

        Xavier led Louisville 80-79. It had the ball with 29 seconds left. That's when the game turned strange.

        An experimental rule being used at the Shootout allows a team the option of keeping possession of the ball rather than shooting free throws after a 10th foul has been committed in a half.

        That's what the Musketeers did.

        Louisville fouled 10 straight times.

GREAT ALASKA SHOOTOUT
(all times EST)
  Wednesday
  1: Georgia Tech 100, Grambling State 88
  2: Washington 86, Alaska-Anchorage 70

  Thursday
  3: Xavier 81, Louisville 79
  4: Kansas 88, Georgia 78

  Friday
  5: Grambling vs. Alaska-Anchorage, 4 p.m.
  6: Louisville vs. Georgia, 6 p.m.
  7: Georgia Tech vs. Washington, 9:30 p.m.
  8: Xavier vs. Kansas, midnight (ESPN)

  Saturday
  9: 7th and 8th-place game, 4 p.m.
  10: 4th and 6th-place game, 6 p.m.
  11: 3rd and 5th-place game, 9 p.m.
  12: Championship game, midnight. ESPN

        “I just thought the game was going to go on forever,” XU senior Darnell WIlliams said.

        “It wasn't my idea,” Xavier coach Skip Prosser said of the rule.

        With six seconds left, XU decided to shoot the foul shots. Williams made the first, then missed the second.

        Cardinals freshman Reece Gaines missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer.

        Prosser said he had Williams shoot because it was a senior he trusts, because XU was to inbound in the backcourt and a turnover would give Louisville a good chance to score, and because on one of the previous inbounds passes Louisville almost stole the ball.

        “We're living on the edge right there,” Prosser said.

        Williams led Xavier with 22 points -- 15 in the first half -- and was named player of the game. Aaron Turner added 13 points and Maurice McAfee 10. Freshman David West had nine points and a career-high 13 rebounds and has averaged 11.5 rebounds in the first two games.

        “We don't care who steps up and hits the shots, we just root for each other every day,” Williams said. “It's big for our psyche because we've got a real young team. To go out and play a veteran team and get a W ...”

        The game turned in Xavier's favor midway through the second half.

        Louisville led 58-55 with 13:20 remaining, then fell apart briefly. Xavier siezed the opportunity.

        “We just had to keep our poise,” Williams said.

        West scored on a goaltend. Williams hit a wide-open 3-pointer. Brandon McIntosh stole the ball from Louisville star Tony Williams and Turner dunked in transition. Kevin Frey hit 1 of 2 free throws. It was 63-58 XU.

[xavier]
Maurice McAfee lunges for a loose ball.
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        The Cardinals kept missing shots and turning the ball over. But the Musketeers stopped making them pay, missing three straight field goal attempts. Louisville fought back, finally retaking the lead at 78-76 on a 3-pointer by Nate Johnson with 2:44 left, capping an 8-0 run.

        Lloyd Price hit a pullup jumper for Xavier to tie it.

        With the shot clock running out, Gaines lost the handle on the ball. Price picked it up and scored on a breakaway layup. XU led 80-78 with 1:41 left. That would be the winning basket.

        The Musketeers got the ball back when Gaines was called for an offensive foul. After Price missed a jumper, Xavier got the rebound. But then McAfee was called for a charge -- his fifth foul -- driving toward the basket.

        Johnson made his first foul shot, then missed his second.

        XU led by one, had the ball and called timeout. Forty-one seconds remained.

        Johnson stole a pass from Alvin Brown, but stepped out of bounds as he headed down the sideline. Xavier retained possession with 29 seconds to play.

        That's when the experimental rule came into play.

[xavier]
An official grabs Louisville's Quintin Bailey by the jersey while others step in to break up a spat.
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        “This is great,” Frey said of the victory. “We came here to have fun but it's almost like a business trip.”

        “I think the kids showed tremendous character,” Prosser said. “It helps them believe in one another that much more.”

        Xavier had some problems, namely 25 turnovers, nine missed free throws and foul trouble (McAfee, Price).

        McIntosh, from Roger Bacon High School, came off the bench and in 13 minutes had four points on 2-of-3 shooting with two rebounds, two assists, two steals and no turnovers.

        “When you're coming off the bench, you always try to provide a spark,” he said. “I was just playing my game.”

        Xavier trailed 44-43 at halftime after Brown scored the last five points of the half. He hit a 3-pointer, then after a Louisville miss he ducked under two Cardinals and banked a shot that rolled in as the buzzer sounded.

        Cincinnati native Dion Edward, a Louisville senior and Woodward High School graduate, also was in foul trouble, picking up his second foul just 4:42 into the game, then getting called for his third with 5:16 left before the half.

        He finished with just four points.

        Louisville is 0-2 for the first time since 1988-89 when it opened with losses to Xavier and Vanderbilt.

Kansas 88, Georgia 78
Xavier's menu not just hoops
Great Alaska Shootout Web site


XAVIER (81)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
West            32   3-4   3-4  5-13  3  4    9
Price           22   4-9   0-0   1-2  2  3    8
Turner          32   6-7   1-2   0-5  0  2   13
Williams        33  6-14   6-7   1-1  3  2   22
Mcafee          26  4-11   1-1   0-3  1  5   10
Frey            17   0-4  7-12   2-5  1  2    7
Mcintosh        13   2-3   0-0   1-2  2  3    4
Brown           25  3-10   1-2   1-1  4  1    8
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-62 19-28 11-32 16 22   81
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.452, FT-.679. 3-Point Goals: 6-17, .353 (Price 0-2, Williams 4-7, Mcafee 1-5, Brown 1-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: None. Turnovers: 25 (West 6, Mcafee 5, Brown 4, Price 4, Frey 3, Williams 2, Turner). Steals: 9 (Mcafee 2, Mcintosh 2, Price 2, Brown, Turner, West).

LOUISVILLE (79) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp Williams 26 4-9 2-3 0-5 5 4 12 Johnson 32 6-13 5-6 0-2 5 5 18 Edward 14 2-3 0-0 1-6 1 4 4 Brooks 19 1-2 0-0 1-1 2 0 2 Maybin 37 5-9 6-8 0-0 2 4 18 Bailey 15 4-6 0-0 1-5 2 5 9 Gaines 26 6-12 0-0 0-4 3 4 12 Smiley 4 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 1 0 Hopper 27 1-4 2-3 2-5 0 5 4 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 29-59 15-20 5-28 20 32 79 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.492, FT-.750. 3-Point Goals: 6-16, .375 (Williams 2-7, Johnson 1-1, Brooks 0-1, Maybin 2-4, Bailey 1-2, Gaines 0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 4 (Williams 2, Maybin, Hopper). Turnovers: 22 (Gaines 6, Bailey 4, Johnson 4, Edward 2, Maybin 2, Williams 2, Hopper, Smiley). Steals: 8 (Johnson 2, Williams 2, Bailey, Edward, Gaines, Smiley). __________________________________ Xavier 43 38 - 81 Louisville 44 35 - 79 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. A: 8,315. Officials: Terry Christman, Jim Flores, James Leitch.



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