Saturday, November 03, 2001

Xavier 75, EA Sports All- Stars 67

Muskies find plenty to work on

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

Thad Matta yells at his team during a timeout.
(Craig Ruttle photos)
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        Exhibition basketball games are supposed to be dress rehearsals for the regular season. And Xavier got a feel Friday for everything to expect — right down to the dressing-down from new coach Thad Matta.

        “At times, you've got to find the right way to motivate them,” Matta said.

        The Musketeers responded well, rallying for a 75-67 victory over the EA Sports All-Stars before 5,623 fans at Cintas Center. XU trailed 61-53 with 7 1/2 minutes left before its defense sparked a 14-1 run to take control.

        The Musketeers were morose poring over the stat sheet, which showed them being outrebounded (41-39) and outshot (40.6 percent to 40.3).

        “We'll learn a lot more from this than from a blowout,” center David West said.

        The biggest concern was unsteady offensive execution in the second half, when XU shot just 28 percent (9-of-32). Said Matta: “Offensively, we looked like a team with a lot of young players, a new head coach and a new system.”

        Which it is.

Xavier's David Young bangs with EA Sports' Eric Holmes.
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        “We're playing hard, but there's still a long way to go,” swingman Dave Young said.

        The good news:

        • Kevin Frey was quite active, indicating his surgically repaired left ankle could be near 100 percent. He played 33 minutes, totaling 11 points, seven rebounds and three steals.

        • Lionel Chalmers scored 17 points and totaled six assists with just two turnovers.

        • Young shot 3-of-4 for nine points.

        • West was his same steady self: 20 points, 12 rebounds, six blocks.

        Matta wanted a good look at his bench, though that includes just four scholarship players -- all of whom played in the first 8 1/2 minutes. But the reserves combined for just seven points.

        XU committed just 11 turnovers, but Matta said h ewanted more than the 13 assists he got.

        XU held EA to 40.6-percent shooting, forced 19 turnovers and totaled eight blocks.

        Xavier — Frey 3-11 4-7 11, Sato 3-7 2-3 11, West 7-16 6-8 20, Chalmers 6-14 5-8 17, Young 3-4 1-2 9, Coleman 1-3 0-0 2, Brown 2-5 0-0 4, Jackson 0-1 1-2 1.

        EA Sports - Willform 6-12 1-3 16, Jackson 2-5 0-0 5, Dottin 2-5 1-1 5, Ellison 1-10 1-3 3, Parris 7-9 4-4 20, Holmes 4-9 0-0 10, Bankhead 3-10 0-0 6, Tower 1-3 0-0 2.

        Halftime-EA Sports 37, Xavier 36. 3-point Goals-Xavier 6-19 (Sato 3-5, Young 2-3, Frey 1-2). EA Sports-9-27 (Willform 3-6, Jackson 1-3, Parris 2-3, Holmes 2-6). Rebounds: X-39 (West 12), EA-41 (Parris 10). Assists: X-13 (Chalmers 6), EA-14 (Dottin 5). A-5,623.

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