Saturday, March 17, 2001

Xavier loses to Notre Dame 83-71


Musketeers doomed by poor shooting

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Disappointment on the Xavier bench.
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        KANSAS CITY — The history books will record 21 victories and an NCAA Tournament appearance. But what the Musketeers will remember is their March meltdown.

        Xavier will have to use the disappointment of its 83-71 first-round loss Friday to Notre Dame as fuel for the future. It must also finds answers for why it finished 4-5, including 0-3 this month.

        “We had been building up to this, and I think we looked too far ahead too soon,” XU sophomore center David West said. “It was a bad way to end the season.”

        The Irish shot 63.3 percent -- the best by an XU opponent this season -- and beat the Musketeers at their own game, scoring 20 fast-break points. XU had allowed just .399 shooting by its opponents, and only one previous opponent, Wisconsin, had shot 50 percent against it.

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Notre Dame's Troy Murphy.
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        XU finishes 21-8. Notre Dame (20-9) advances to meet third-seeded Mississippi (26-7) in a second-round game Sunday.

        Notre Dame's sharp-shooting guards accounted for 26 first-half points to help pace the Irish to a 40-26 halftime lead. The Musketeers trailed by as many as 17 points and could never again creep closer than 11 points.

        “We shot the ball so poorly in the first half, and we couldn't get into our pressure defense because we weren't scoring,” XU coach Skip Prosser said. “When we got that far down, that was just too much to overcome.”

        Poor shooting, the bugaboo of this season, downed XU in the end. It shot just 40.3 percent from the field, including 15 percent from 3-point range (3-of-20), and 58.8 percent (10-of-17) from the free-throw line.

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Maurice McAfee tries for steal
(AP photos)
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        Notre Dame's two-time All-American, Troy Murphy, scored 19 points but was just 6-of-17 from the field. The backcourt duo of David Graves and Matt Carroll killed XU: Carroll had 21 points on 9-of-11 shooting, and Graves scored 20 points on 7-of-7 shooting.

        “Those guys were huge,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said.

        West led XU with 19 points, though he had just four at halftime.

        Trailing 57-40 with 9:22 left, XU tried furiously to rally. A 12-6 run got it within 63-52 with 6:29 left.

        XU had the ball, trying to cut the lead to single digits, but Dave Young missed a 3-pointer. Notre Dame's Ryan Humphrey made one free throw on the other end, and the Irish rebounded when he missed the second. Humphrey again got fouled and hit one shot.

        XU's Lionel Chalmers missed a running jumper, and Carroll drove for a layup on the other end. The lead was back to 15 points with 4:32 left.

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Reggie Butler and Lloyd Price battle Ryan Humphrey for loose ball.
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        One last push: XU cut the lead to 11 with 1:25 left. But Ryan Humphrey scored on a dunk after Notre Dame broke the press, and it was over.

        Notre Dame won this game in the first half, and its three perimeter players were the difference. Graves shot 5-for-5 in the half for 13 points, Carroll was 4-for-4 with nine points, and Martin Ingelsby was 2-of-3 for four points.

        “They made all the big shots,” West said. “We were fighting an uphill battle the whole time.”

        XU led 9-3 early, but the Irish outscored it 22-3 in an eight-minute span, including a 14-0 run, to take a 25-12 lead.

        XU made just one basket in a 9:21 span and was just 4-of-17 shooting (.235) at one point.

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Romain Sato
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        “We didn't handle that (14-0 run) like we would have liked,” XU senior guard Maurice McAfee said. “We weren't able to rebound from that.

        “We weren't moving well on offense. Why, I don't know. But we stopped ourselves a lot tonight.”

        McAfee played in his 126th career game Friday, tying the school record set by Tyrone Hill (1986-90).

        Xavier was attempting to keep the Atlantic 10 perfect in this tournament, following a St. Joseph's victory Thursday over Georgia Tech and Temple's upset Friday of Texas.

SULLIVAN: XU loss not really a surprise
Xavier women dominating
Clemson next for XU women
Online pool and college hoops coverage at Cincinnati.com


XAVIER (71)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            26   3-8   0-0   3-6  1  2    6
West            28  8-14   3-4   5-8  1  3   19
Price           29   5-9   3-6   4-6  1  4   13
Sato            30   2-8   0-2   1-8  1  3    6
Mcafee          35  4-11   1-1   0-1  3  4    9
Chalmers        24  5-14   3-4   2-4  0  2   14
Young           12   1-6   0-0   0-1  0  5    2
Mcintosh         1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Brown            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Mason            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Butler          13   1-2   0-0   1-1  1  0    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 29-72 10-17 16-35  8 23   71
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.403, FT-.588. 3-Point Goals:
3-20, .150 (Frey 0-1, Price 0-1, Sato 2-7, Mcafee
0-3, Chalmers 1-6, Young 0-2). Team rebounds: 2.
Blocked shots: 1 (West). Turnovers: 14 (Mcafee 4,
Chalmers 2, Price 2, Sato 2, West 2, Frey,
Young). Steals: 12 (West 5, Chalmers 3, Butler,
Mcafee, Price, Young).


NOTRE DAME (83)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Murphy          39  6-17   6-6   1-8  3  3   19
Humphrey        33   6-8   3-8   0-6  3  4   15
Graves          38   7-7   4-6   1-2  2  2   20
Carroll         40  9-11   1-2   0-6  2  2   21
Ingelsby        39   2-3   2-2   0-5  9  1    6
Jones            3   0-2   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Swanagan         8   1-1   0-0   0-1  0  4    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 31-49 16-24  2-28 19 16   83
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.633, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
5-12, .417 (Murphy 1-5, Graves 2-2, Carroll 2-3,
Ingelsby 0-1, Jones 0-1). Team rebounds: 3.
Blocked shots: 7 (Humphrey 4, Murphy 2,
Swanagan). Turnovers: 17 (Carroll 5, Ingelsby 4,
Murphy 4, Graves 2, Humphrey 2). Steals: 7
(Ingelsby 4, Graves 2, Carroll).
__________________________________
Xavier             26   45  -   71
Notre Dame         40   43  -   83
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Notre Dame 1 (Murphy).  A:
14,750. Officials: Kerry Sitton, Lonnie Dixon,
Ray Natili.


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