Sunday, March 04, 2001

XU aims to end 5-game drought at UD

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Xavier hasn't won at Dayton in its last five tries. But the Musketeers got some news that could help their chances today.

  • When: Noon today.
  • Where: University of Dayton Arena (13,455), Dayton.
  • Records: XU 21-5 (12-3 A-10), UD 17-11 (8-7).
  • TV: Fox Sports Net.
  • Radio: WKRC-AM (550).
  Lloyd Price-6-5-Jr.-9.3
  Kevin Frey-6-8-Jr.-11.6
  David West-6-8-So.-17.7
  Romain Sato-6-4-Fr.-11.0
  Maurice McAfee-6-0-Sr.-9.4
  Coach: Skip Prosser (148-62, seventh season; 165-75 overall)
  Nate Green-6-6-So.-9.0
  Brooks Hall-6-6-So.-8.6
  Keith Waleskowski-6-8-Fr.-11.8
Tony Stanley-6-4-Sr.-16.6
  David Morris-5-10-Jr.-7.0
  Coach: Oliver Purnell (106-97, seventh season; 207-172 overall)
  • 12: Consecutive games in this series won by the home team (seven at XU, five at UD).
  • 45.1: UD's field goal percentage, second-best in the A-10.
  • 39.8: XU's defensive field goal percentage, best in the A-10.
        St. Bonaventure had an upset victory Saturday at Massachusetts to clinch the fifth seed in this week's Atlantic 10 Tournament. Had the Bonnies lost, UD (17-11, 8-7 A-10) could have earned the fifth seed — the last spot to earn a first-round bye — by winning today.

        “Seeding isn't anything we control,” UD coach Oliver Purnell said. “We're more focused on trying to be on an uptick going into the A-10 Tournament.”

        While robbing UD of that possible motivational force, the St. Bonaventure upset also clinched the No.2 seed for XU (21-5, 12-3).

        Had UMass won, it would have shared the same half of the bracket as XU. The Minutemen's two-game sweep of XU suggests they're a tough matchup for the Musketeers. Now XU's toughest obstacle to the title game is Temple (17-12, 12-4), which XU beat 78-71 last month.

        As for today: An XU victory seemingly would wrap up an NCAA Tournament bid.

        “We really want to go out and get it,” XU senior center Reggie Butler said.

        The 25th-ranked Musketeers, who are 32nd in the RPI, beat UD 82-72 on Jan.30 at Cintas Center. XU shot a season-best 55.6 percent and rallied from an eight-point sec ond-half deficit.

        “We ran out of gas there in the second half,” Purnell said. “And David West, we didn't have an answer for.”

        West totaled 25 points and 11 rebounds. UD's top gun, Tony Stanley (16.6 ppg), had just six points on 2-for-17 shooting.

        “But Tony Stanley always shoots well at UD Arena,” XU coach Skip Prosser said.

        When Stanley is hitting 3-pointers, UD usually wins. He shoots 47.5 percent from that range in UD victories and just 27.3 percent in losses.

        “We're going to try to break the (five-loss) streak,” Butler said. “We've shown we can pull out some tough victories on the road.”

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