Sunday, January 28, 2001

Xavier 81, Duquesne 48


Defense delivers another road win

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        PITTSBURGH — They no longer wear blue jerseys. But everything about them bespeaks blue collars. The Xavier Musketeers fashioned another workmanlike performance Saturday, winning 81-48 at Duquesne.

        They held the Dukes to their lowest shooting (33.9 percent) and scoring figures of the season, further distancing themselves from the flashy, up-tempo style they've played the past 15 years.

        “I'd rather have that (blue-collar) reputation and keep winning,” senior captain Maurice McAfee said. “Whatever they want to call us.”

        XU (15-3, 6-1 Atlantic 10), which has won four consecutive games and 10 of 11, is tied with St. Joseph's and Massachusetts atop the A-10. It has won seven straight away from home — six road games and one neutral-site contest.

        That's the best since the 1987-88 season, when XU had a school-record nine straight victories away from home. That was seven road games (the longest streak ever) and two neutral-site games.

        This run follows a stretch in which XU won just six of 22 road games.

        “I don't think it matters to them anymore where we play,” XU coach Skip Prosser said.

        Said McAfee: “We take a business approach (on the road). We're here to do a job.”

        This was XU's biggest margin of victory and the largest margin of defeat for Duquesne (7-13, 1-6 A-10). The Musketeers, who rank second in the league in scoring defense (64.2 ppg) and defensive field-goal percentage (40.7 percent), smothered a Dukes team thatcame in shooting 45.8 percent, second-best in the A-10.

        XU held Duquesne stars Wayne Smith (18.3 ppg) and Courtney Wallace (17.0) to three and four points, respectively, on combined 3-for-18 shooting.

        “To win, especially on the road, you've got to gut it out possession by possession,” Prosser said. “And I think after the first five or six minutes, we did that. When we guard, we have a chance to be good.”

        XU trailed 13-9 early but used an 8-0 run to take a lead it wouldn't lose. It didn't pull away until late in the first half, when it held Duquesne without a field goal for 7:51.

        The resulting 19-1 run expanded a 30-25 lead to 49-26.

        “Our goal is to come out and defend,” sophomore guard Lionel Chalmers said. “We were tenacious on defense and had them pretty frustrated the whole game.”

        XU's 49.1 percent shooting tied its second-best of the season. It outrebounded the Dukes 45-32 and made six first-half 3-pointers to loosen Duquense's zone defense.

        David West totaled 21 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. Off the bench, Chalmers scored 15 points — including four 3-pointers — and added five rebounds and three steals. Fellow reserve Reggie Butler totaled seven points, five rebounds and two steals.

        “We're playing good defense, contesting shots and rebounding the ball,” Butler said. “When you do that, good things happen.”

        The poster boy for XU's new style remains McAfee, who led XU in scoring last season (15.1 ppg) but changed his game to suit this team. Saturday, playing with a strained back, McAfee didn't score but had nine assists and just three turnovers. He attempted just one shot.

        “I thought Maurice played really, really well,” Prosser said. “He was very unselfish.”

        Upon seeing a stat sheet, McAfee scanned first for his assist total and was disappointed to see only nine. He didn't care about his scoring average, which fell to 8.5.

        “My teammates are hitting shots,” he said. “Hopefully I'm putting the ball in a place where they can be successful. I can score, but I don't need to score.”

        McAfee has averaged seven assists and just 2.9 turnovers in league play for a 2.45-to-1 ratio.

        XU returns home Tuesday to face Dayton in a game televised on ESPN2.

Frustrated Young performs at home


XAVIER (81)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            25  6-11   0-0   2-7  0  4   12
Price           22   2-4   3-4   1-3  1  4    8
West            31  7-10   7-8  2-12  3  3   21
Sato            29  3-10   0-0   0-3  2  1    9
Mcafee          29   0-1   0-1   0-1  9  3    0
Chalmers        26   4-9   3-4   0-5  1  0   15
Young            3   2-4   1-1   1-1  0  0    5
Mcintosh         7   1-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Johnson          1   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    2
Brown            3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Mason            3   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  2    0
Baronas          2   0-2   0-0   1-4  0  0    0
Butler          19   2-3   3-6   2-5  1  1    7
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 28-57 17-24  9-41 17 18   81
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.491, FT-.708. 3-Point Goals:
8-21, .381 (Frey 0-1, Price 1-2, Sato 3-9, Mcafee
0-1, Chalmers 4-7, Young 0-1). Team rebounds: 4.
Blocked shots: 2 (West 2). Turnovers: 15
(Chalmers 3, Mcafee 3, Butler 2, Johnson 2, West
2, Price, Sato). Steals: 10 (Chalmers 3, Butler
2, Sato 2, Johnson, Price, West).


DUQUESNE (48)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Midgley         21   2-8   1-1   1-1  1  2    6
Lovelace        24   4-4   1-2   0-6  1  4    9
May             33  7-12   0-0   3-9  0  3   14
Wallace         30  2-11   0-1   0-1  2  3    4
Forney          24   2-8   2-4   0-3  0  2    6
Tann             2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Smith           21   1-7   0-0   1-3  3  3    3
Gilmore          1   0-2   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Barker           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Hunter          13   1-4   1-1   2-3  2  1    3
Esposito         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Pawlak           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Stanfield       15   1-1   1-2   1-4  1  0    3
Clark           13   0-1   0-1   0-1  0  4    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-59  6-12  8-31 10 23   48
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.339, FT-.500. 3-Point Goals:
2-14, .143 (Midgley 1-4, May 0-1, Wallace 0-3,
Forney 0-1, Tann 0-1, Smith 1-2, Gilmore 0-1,
Hunter 0-1). Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 2
(Smith, Stanfield). Turnovers: 18 (Wallace 5,
Forney 2, Hunter 2, Lovelace 2, May 2, Smith 2,
Esposito, Gilmore, Stanfield). Steals: 5 (May 2,
Lovelace, Smith, Wallace).
__________________________________
Xavier             44   37  -   81
Duquesne           26   22  -   48
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 5,242. Officials:
David Walker, Ken Clark, John Larocca.


Xavier Stories
- Xavier 81, Duquesne 48
Frustrated Young performs at home


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