Sunday, November 28, 1999

Xavier 81, Washington 65


Muskies bounce back with strong showing

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[rebound]
Kevin Frey and Obi Harris battle for a rebound.
(AP photo)

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        ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Xavier did not have time to dwell on the debacle.

        The Musketeers had to put their 41-point loss to 10th-ranked Kansas in the rearview mirror and immediately set their sights on the University of Washington.

        XU did just that, coming back from its worst loss in close to 23 years to defeat the Huskies 81-65 Saturday night and finish in third place in the 22nd Great Alaska Shootout.

        Kansas and Georgia Tech played for the championship in a game that started at midnight ET.

        “We wanted to make a better showing,” XU point guard Maurice McAfee said. “Nobody wants to go down in a 40-point loss and then follow with another loss. I mean, you want redemption. You want to prove that you're a better team than what you showed the night before and play the type of basketball that you're capable of playing.”

        The Musketeers had met privately in the locker room after the Kansas loss, then again with the coaches back at the hotel.

        Xavier had two walkthroughs Saturday at the hotel to prepare for Washington, learning its plays and personnel. The players were attentive and eager to get back on the court.

[frey]
Frey shoots over Washington's Grant Leep.

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        “I really think the key was paying attention to the coaches and really knowing their stuff,” sophomore Lloyd Price said.

        Xavier comes home today 3-1 after winning two of three games in its first trip to Anchorage.

        In a game that started roughly 19 hours after the Kansas loss, the Musketeers got some revenge against Washington (2-2), which upset them by one point in the first round of the 1998 NCAA Tournament.

        “I don't know if Xavier's ever played three NCAA teams in three days,” coach

        Skip Prosser said. “I'd feel better 3-0. Can't change that now.”

        On Saturday night, XU was not outsized as it was against the Jayhawks and the Musketeers were able to hold their own on the boards (37-34). They also played solid halfcourt defense and ran their offense better.

        It all showed right away.

        XU started the game with a 15-6 lead and soon after used a 14-3 run to take its biggest lead of the half. It was 32-14 with 7:37 remaining before intermission.

        Washington battled back to make it 41-28 at halftime, and that's with leading scorer Deon Luton (17 ppg) getting shut out for the first 20 minutes. XU's Darnell Williams, McAfee and Price all guarded Luton, who missed his first three field-goal attempts and didn't score until 16:23 remained. He finished with just seven points.

        “They play great defense,” Washington coach Bob Bender said. “They get after you all the way through the possession. I think they're as good a defensive program — teaching things the right way — as any program in the country.”

        Xavier freshman David West finished with a career-high 21 points and nine rebounds. West had sat out most of the second half of the Kansas game with a mild asthma attack but played 28 minutes against Washington.

        “I didn't come out any more aggressive than I come out against anyone else,” West said. “I had no idea (I had that many points). We can do the same things against any team in the country, as long as we listen. The fact that they weren't as tall as Kansas didn't have anything to do with it.”

        Teammate Aaron Turner finished with career-highs in rebounds (14) and assists (7).

        “I should've done it last night,” Turner said.

        The Musketeers also got a career-high 21 points from Price, who was named the Play er of the Game. McAfee added 12 points and Alvin Brown 10.

        Before the game started, Williams said he told his teammates in the huddle: “It's time to be men now. It's time for us to step up.”

        The Huskies were held to 37.1-percent shooting and had 19 turnovers.

        Xavier was more patient, passing the ball around to get better shots. Against Kansas, it often abandoned its offense and tried to beat the Jayhawks one-on-one. Except for fastbreak baskets, Xavier rarely shot against Washington before trying to pass the ball around first

        The second half started as more of the same. By the 13:55 mark, the Musketeers had their second 20-point lead. The shoe was on the other foot; the previous game, they trailed by 21 points at the same point.

        XU had a tougher time putting away the Huskies. Washington pulled within 12 points with 7:34 remaining, but the Musketeers answered with four straight baskets — one by Williams, two by Price and a turnaround bank shot by West. The lead was 20 again with five minutes to play.

        “We tried our best not to let them back in the game,” Williams said.

West suffers mild asthma attack
Kansas 84, Georgia Tech 70
Great Alaska Shootout Web site


WASHINGTON (65)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Perkins         23  6-12   2-2   5-7  0  3   14
Luton           29   2-8   2-2   0-3  2  1    7
Walcutt         28  5-12   4-4   3-7  2  3   14
Carey           34  4-10   4-4   1-5  3  0   15
Johnson         31   4-9   0-0   2-3  3  3   10
Clark           18   1-4   0-0   0-0  4  1    3
Leep             6   0-0   0-0   0-3  0  0    0
Brown            3   0-3   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Coffee           3   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  0    0
Green           20   1-3   0-1   0-2  0  3    2
Shelton          5   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 23-62 12-13 11-31 14 14   65
_______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.371, FT-.923. 3-Point Goals: 7-25, .280 (Luton 1-4, Walcutt 0-1, Carey 3-6, Johnson 2-7, Clark 1-4, Brown 0-3). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 2 (Luton, Shelton). Turnovers: 19 (Carey 7, Johnson 6, Leep 3, Green, Luton, Walcutt). Steals: 6 (Green 3, Carey 2, Perkins).

XAVIER (81) fg ft rb min m-a m-a o-t a pf tp West 28 8-11 5-8 4-9 2 0 21 Price 27 8-11 5-5 1-5 1 2 21 Turner 34 2-5 0-0 4-14 7 2 4 Mcafee 37 4-9 0-1 0-1 6 4 12 Williams 32 3-12 2-2 0-2 3 2 8 Frey 17 1-5 0-0 0-2 3 4 3 Mcintosh 6 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 1 2 Brown 18 4-8 2-2 0-0 1 1 10 Butler 1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0 _______________________________________________ TOTALS 200 31-63 14-18 9-34 24 16 81 _______________________________________________

Percentages: FG-.492, FT-.778. 3-Point Goals: 5-17, .294 (Price 0-3, Mcafee 4-7, Williams 0-4, Frey 1-2, Brown 0-1). Team rebounds: 3. Blocked shots: 2 (West 2). Turnovers: 15 (Mcafee 4, Frey 2, Price 2, Turner 2, West 2, Williams 2, Brown). Steals: 10 (Price 3, Turner 2, Williams 2, Butler, Mcafee, West). __________________________________ Washington 28 37 - 65 Xavier 41 40 - 81 __________________________________ Technical fouls: None. Officials: Ronnie Hernandez, Greg Burks, Eddie Jackson.