Friday, March 09, 2001

Xavier's loss may cost NCAA berth

Hopes fade after 83-74 beating in A-10 opener

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

GW's Attila Cosby blocks Maurice McAfee's shot.
(AP photos)
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        PHILADELPHIA — Failing in must-win mode, Xavier now must wait. And there will be no more torturous time than this.

        The Musketeers suffered their worst loss at the worst possible time, falling 83-74 Thursday night to middling George Washington in the Atlantic 10 Tournament quarterfinals at the Spectrum. They are every bit back on the NCAA Tournament bubble, waiting until Sunday night to learn if their 4-4 finish will doom them to a third consecutive National Invitation Tournament.

        “I hope we're still in,” sophomore center David West said. “We're hoping and praying.”

        George Washington (14-17), which stood 131st in the RPI entering play Thursday, is the lowest-rated team to beat XU (21-7) this season. The Musketeers were 36th in the RPI Thursday, and that number should fall well into the 40s today. Last season, three teams with RPIs in the 30s were left out by the NCAA's Selection Committee.

        “I don't know what will happen,” XU coach Skip Prosser said. “I have to see what our RPI (becomes). I know there's not too many teams in the country with only seven losses.”

David West reaches for a loose ball.
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        XU dug its own grave Thursday, making just 17 of 30 free throws (56.7 percent) and again failing in the clutch to get the ball to West — the A-10 Player of the Year David West. West, who had 17 first-half points, scored just three second-half points — none in the final 14:50.

        Trailing just 72-70 with the ball and nearly three minutes left, XU missed its next six shots and went 2-of-4 from the free throw line, not making another basket until just three seconds remained.

        “They outscrapped us,” XU senior guard Maurice McAfee said. “I'm having trouble with my thoughts right now. I can't understand what happened.”

        XU was outrebounded 43-36, including 23-17 in the second half.

        Something about GW gives the Musketeers heartburn. They had beaten the Colonials once by two points and the other time in overtime, with GW having game-winning chances in the final seconds of regulation both times.

        XU led much of the first half. But GW caught the Musketeers by halftime, then scored the first four points of the second half and never trailed again.

Kevin Frey grabs a rebound.
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        The Musketeers' deficit was the largest at 70-63 with 5:29 left.

        Back came XU. Lloyd Price sank a 3-pointer. Then GW turned it over and Kevin Frey scored a fast-break basket. It was 70-68 with 4:35 left.

        But on XU's next possession, shooting for the lead, McAfee missed a 3-point try.

        The teams traded baskets, then XU had another opportunity for the lead, but Price's 3-point try misfired.

        When GW's Mike King converted a three-point play, the Colonials led by five with 1:43 left. XU wouldn't get closer than four points the rest of the way.

        “You would hope the (Selection) Committee understands the season we've had,” Prosser said. “I hope our resume is still pretty strong.”

        McAfee played his 125th career game Thursday, tying Michael Davenport for second place in school history. McAfee should tie Tyrone Hill's school record of 126 games in XU's next game: NCAA or NIT.

DAUGHERTY: Wait will be torture
Muskies fail to get it to West

Other Atlantic-10 games
Atlantic-10 pairings
Is Philly best place for A-10 tourney?

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Monroe          37  4-12  9-10  5-12  2  4   17
Iturbe          10   0-1   0-0   0-3  0  4    0
Cosby           30  6-12   1-1   2-8  0  3   13
King            17   6-8   5-5   1-2  1  3   18
Brown           40  8-22   3-5   1-4  5  1   19
Roma             6   2-2   0-0   3-3  0  1    4
Barrow          13   0-1   0-0   0-0  1  0    0
Smith            9   1-3   2-3   3-5  1  4    4
Collucci        15   2-5   0-0   1-2  2  0    6
Ngongba         23   1-2   0-1   1-3  1  3    2
TOTALS         200 30-68 20-25 17-42 13 23   83

Percentages: FG-.441, FT-.800. 3-Point Goals:
3-16, .188 (Monroe 0-2, Iturbe 0-1, Cosby 0-1,
King 1-2, Brown 0-5, Barrow 0-1, Collucci 2-4).
Team rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 2 (Cosby 2).
Turnovers: 11 (Monroe 5, Brown 2, Barrow, Iturbe,
Ngongba, Smith). Steals: 11 (Monroe 5, Brown 3,
Collucci, Cosby, Smith).

                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            36  8-11   4-6   2-7  1  2   20
Price           29   5-9   0-5   2-3  3  5   11
West            37  6-14   8-9  4-10  0  3   20
Sato            23   1-7   2-4   3-4  0  4    4
Mcafee          35   3-7   2-2   1-5  4  3   10
Chalmers        29   3-9   1-4   0-3  3  1    9
Young            5   0-1   0-0   1-1  1  0    0
Butler           6   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  3    0
TOTALS         200 26-59 17-30 13-33 12 21   74

Percentages: FG-.441, FT-.567. 3-Point Goals:
5-19, .263 (Frey 0-2, Price 1-3, West 0-1, Sato
0-4, Mcafee 2-5, Chalmers 2-4). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 8 (West 5, Butler 2, Chalmers).
Turnovers: 13 (Mcafee 4, Chalmers 3, West 3, Frey
2, Sato). Steals: 6 (West 2, Chalmers, Mcafee,
Price, Sato).
Geo Washington     42   41  -   83
Xavier             42   32  -   74
Technical fouls: Geo Washington 1 (King).  A:
7,034. Officials: Joe Demayo, Mark Distaola,
Glenn Mayborg.

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- Xavier's loss may cost NCAA berth
DAUGHERTY: Wait will be torture
Muskies fail to get it to West
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