Sunday, January 13, 2002

XU notebook

Fouls cause West to cut 1st half short

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        David West drew his second foul 11 minutes into the game Saturday and went to the bench. A minute later, Xavier coach Thad Matta went to West and asked if he wanted to re-enter the game.

        “No, let's ride it out with the guys we have in there,” West told him.

        XU's All-America candidate opted to sit out the rest of the half, then scored 16 of his 18 points in the second half to help XU pull away from Richmond.

        It was the same situation XU had last month at Creighton, when West drew two fouls, sat the rest of the half, then scored 16 of his 18 points. But this time, West was given a choice. He said afterward that he feared drawing a quick third foul.

        “Playing with that in mind, and not being as aggressive, I wasn't going to be helping the team,” he said.

        West showed the Spiders a different game when he returned, hitting a 3-pointer and twice scoring on drives to the basket.

        “He really made some good adjustments,” Matta said.

        Romain Sato had led XU in scoring three consecutive games, taking some of the pressure off West to carry the team. But West said he expects he'll face increased defensive attention the rest of the season.

        “It's going to be tough to get good touches,” he said. “Probably only a few teams are going to play me man-to-man. This is my third time through the league, so teams know more about me. It's definitely going to get harder (to get open).”


        XU signee Dedrick Finn, a 6-foot point guard at Newburgh (Ind.) Castle High, returned to action Friday night after being cleared to play on his injured right knee. Finn underwent an MRI exam Wednesday that found a slight tear in his medial collateral ligament and a strain to a ligament on the outside of his knee, Castle coach Steve Brunes said.

        Finn must wear a brace but scored 13 points Friday in Castle's 79-75 overtime loss to Evansville Mater Dei, fouling out in the fourth quarter.

        UP NEXT:

        XU visits George Washington (9-5, 2-1 Atlantic 10) at 7:30p.m. Thursday (Fox Sports Net). The Colonials play host to LaSalle today.


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