Sunday, February 03, 2002

Williams saves day for Muskies

Big baskets lead rally

By Neil Schmidt
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        RICHMOND, Va. — You can forgive anyone who spelled Xavier's Jaison Williams' first name without the “i.” In his stunning five-minute stint Saturday, the freshman reserve played every bit as well as the Duke fellow by that name.

        Williams rescued the Musketeers by making both his baskets and adding three assists and a steal in his emergency role, rallying them to a 67-64 victory at Richmond.

        “I tried to give us a little spark to give the team a chance,” he said.

        It was exactly what XU needed. With 5:11 left to play, XU trailed 62-53 and had just finished its sixth consecutive possession without a point. Lionel Chalmers had turned the ball over, and he barked at an official, suggesting he was fouled. Chalmers drew a technical foul, which was his fourth personal foul, and Williams entered the game for the first time.

        After UR's Mike Skrocki missed both foul shots (for the technical) and Patrick O'Malley missed a jumper, XU started its rally.

        With 3:52 left, Williams fired from 22 feet and buried a 3-pointer. (He is 8-of-17 on 3s this season.) The next three XU scores were set up by Williams passes, and then he stole the ball from UR's Johnathan Collins and streaked in for a layup.

        “Jaison played great,” David West said. “He gave us a different look, and maybe they didn't know how to defend him.”


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