Sunday, February 04, 2001

Xavier Notebook

Longtime friends momentary foes

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Maurice McAfee reacts after Romain Sato's foul with one second left in regulation gave GW a chance to win.
(Ernest Coleman photos)
| ZOOM |
        Romain Sato and Patrick Ngongba, friends who grew up together in the Central African Republic, became pivotal figures in the final second of regulation Saturday.

        With his team up by a point, Xavier's Sato fouled the George Washington senior in a scramble for a loose ball. Sato said he had to suspend his friendship.

        “No (mixed emotions),” Sato said. “If he made both free throws, we lose.”

        Ngongba missed the first, and Sato walked up to him and said, “No way you win in our (gym).” But Ngongba made the second to force overtime.

        Sato said later that was the best scenario: Ngongba wasn't the goat, but XU still won. Sato said he planned to get together with Ngongba after the game.

        WEST HONORED: Frank Burlison of named XU's David West a second team All-American in his midseason ratings. West entered play Saturday leading the Atlantic 10 in rebounding (10.3 rpg.) and field-goal percentage (.540), and ranking fourth in blocks (1.63), ninth in scoring (18.0) and 15th in free-throw shooting (74 percent).
       UP NEXT: XU visits St. Joseph's (17-4, 7-1 A-10) at 8 p.m. Wednesday. The Musketeers gave St. Joe's its only league loss with an 86-73 decision Jan.20 at XU. The game will not be televised locally.

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