Friday, March 15, 2002

Xavier rallies to beat Hawaii


Muskies climb out of 12-point hole to win 70-58

The Associated Press

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Xavier's Lionel Chalmers battles Hawaii's Mark Campbell for the ball.
(AP photos)
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        DALLAS — Xavier's defense always seems to pick up its offense. And with the Musketeers staring at a double-digit deficit in the first half, the defense saved the day again.

        With Romain Sato and Lionel Chalmers turning up the defensive pressure in the second half, the No. 7-seeded Musketeers rallied to beat Hawaii 70-58 in the first round of the West Regional.

        Sato had 18 points and 10 rebounds, and Chalmers forced Hawaii's guards into a spate of turnovers as the Musketeers overcame a 12-point first-half hole.

        “We were on the verge of getting run out of the gym,” first-year Xavier coach Thad Matta said. “(Hawaii) is a rhythm team, and we took them out of their rhythm.”

        Sato's 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer pulled Xavier (26-5) to 40-33 at the break, and he kept making big plays in the second half. It was Xavier's first win in the tournament since beating Vanderbilt in 1997 in the first round.

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Coach Thad Matta had plenty to shout about.
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        The Musketeers next play No. 2-seeded Oklahoma, which beat Illinois-Chicago 71-63, at 4:41 p.m. Sunday.

        Hawaii (27-6) missed its first 11 shots of the second half, when Xavier went on a 11-1 run to take its first lead since the opening minutes.

        Warriors guard Phil Martin hit a 3-pointer with 11:37 left to end the cold streak, but Xavier continued to roll. The Musketeers took a 58-48 lead — their largest of the game — with just over 4 minutes left on Kevin Frey's fallaway jumper as he tumbled to the court.

        Hawaii continued its struggles in the game's closing minutes, missing on 3-pointers and even clanging layups off the side of the basket.

        Meanwhile, Xavier sealed the victory by making 12 of 14 free throws in the final 1:19. Chalmers finished with 15 points, six rebounds, six assists and five steals. David West added 13 points and 11 rebounds.

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Romain Sato goes in for a layup.
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        “It's something we've done all year long. When we try to match baskets with teams, we can't do that,” West said. “The way we played in the second half is how we win games, how we've been doing it all year.”

        Hawaii scored more points in the last three minutes of the second half (10) than in the first 17 (eight).

        In the first half, led by Savovic's 16 points, Hawaii shot 48 percent from the field, including 5-of-11 on 3-pointers.

        Hawaii took its biggest lead at 40-28 on Carl English's 3-pointer with about 3 minutes left in the half.

        But Xavier started its rally before the break, and Savovic struggled with Sato's defense in the second half. Savovic didn't score until a 3-pointer with 5:25 left in the game. He finished with 26 points, mostly on buckets in the closing minutes.

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David West and teammates were powerless to stop Hawaii's Predrag Savovic in the first half.
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        “It's not that the shots didn't go down, it was the shots we were taking,” Savovic said. “Coach told us not to take them, and for whatever reason, we didn't listen.”

        Hawaii has been on the road since leaving Honolulu on Feb. 26 for road games and then the Western Athletic Conference tournament. After winning the conference title last Saturday, the Warriors flew to Dallas on Monday to prepare for the game against Xavier.

        “These kids are tired,” Hawaii coach Riley Wallace said. “To turn it up when they had to, they just couldn't reach down and get that extra little bit. We just seemed to be drained.”

        The loss put the finishing touches on a season in which Hawaii won a school-best 27 games. The Warriors are now 0-4 in NCAA tournament appearances.

        Xavier entered Friday's game coming off a win over Richmond in the Atlantic 10 tournament title game. The Musketeers have now won nine of their last 10 games.

Oklahoma 71, Illinois-Chicago 63
Complete NCAA coverage


HAWAII (58)


                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
C English           35  4-15   0-1   0-9   2   4    9
P Martin            31  5-12   1-2   5-9   1   2   11
H Shimonovic        17   0-3   0-0   1-5   1   5    0
P Savovic           38 10-21   2-2   0-5   3   1   26
M Campbell          30   1-1   1-1   2-4   0   2    3
M Mcintyre          25   3-7   0-0   0-0   0   4    9
L Takaki             1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
M Burneika          20   0-5   0-0   1-2   3   3    0
R Holliday           1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
P Jesinskis          1   0-0   0-0   0-0   0   0    0
N Akpan              1   0-0   0-0   0-1   0   0    0


_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 23-64  4-6   9-35  10  21   58
_____________________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.359, FT-.667. 3-Point Goals:
8-24, .333 (C English 1-5, P Savovic 4-9, M 
Mcintyre 3-7, M Burneika 0-3). Team Rebounds:
0. Blocked Shots: 6 (H Shimonovic 4, P 
Martin, N Akpan). Turnovers: 16 (C English 7,
P Savovic 3, M Mcintyre 2, M Campbell 2, P 
Martin, H Shimonovic). Steals: 7 (P Savovic 
2, H Shimonovic 2, M Campbell 2, P Martin).


XAVIER (70)


                          fg    ft    rb             
                   min   m-a   m-a   o-t   a  pf   tp
K Frey              36   3-8   4-4   1-5   0   0   10
D West              28  4-10   5-6  0-11   0   4   13
A Brown             23   4-4   2-2   2-3   0   1   10
L Chalmers          38  4-13   7-8   1-6   6   1   15
R Sato              40  6-13   3-4  3-10   1   4   18
D Young              9   1-3   0-0   0-2   0   1    2
J Williams           2   0-0   0-0   0-1   0   0    0
A Coleman           11   0-0   0-0   0-1   1   1    0
K Jackson           13   1-3   0-0   0-0   0   1    2


_____________________________________________________
TOTALS             200 23-54 21-24  7-39   8  13   70
_____________________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.426, FT-.875. 3-Point Goals:
3-15, .200 (K Frey 0-2, D West 0-1, L 
Chalmers 0-4, R Sato 3-8). Team Rebounds: 1. 
Blocked Shots: 5 (L Chalmers, A Coleman, K 
Frey, D West, K Jackson). Turnovers: 14 (L 
Chalmers 5, D West 3, A Brown 2, R Sato 2, D 
Young, K Jackson). Steals: 9 (L Chalmers 5, A
Brown 2, R Sato, D West).


-----------------------------------
HAWAII               40  18   -  58
XAVIER               33  37   -  70
----------------------------------- 


Technical fouls: None. A: 19,951. 



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- Xavier rallies to beat Hawaii


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