Thursday, March 6, 2003

Xavier living on the edge



The Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA - Xavier better save some of its last-minute heroics for March Madness.

For the fourth straight game, the 11th-ranked Musketeers needed a big shot in the final seconds of regulation to win.

"In this environment and as good as Saint Joe's is, we could've folded, but the guys played hard and made plays," Xavier coach Thad Matta said after Wednesday night's 88-80 overtime victory over St. Joseph's.

Xavier won two of its previous three games in the final seconds, and needed a tip-in at the buzzer to set up a two-point overtime victory against lowly Duquesne last Wednesday. The Musketeers haven't lost since Richmond beat them 67-59 on Jan. 7.

"Being able to pull these games out will only help us," said David West, who scored 10 of his 25 points in overtime.

Jameer Nelson scored 33 points and Tyrone Barley added 14 for Saint Joseph's (21-5, 11-4). It was the first home loss of the season for the Hawks, who had won three straight and seven of eight overall.

The Hawks were without leading scorer Delonte West, out with a foot injury. West, averaging 18.5 points per game, missed one game with a stress fracture in his right foot, but returned to play two games before reinjuring his foot last Saturday.

With West sidelined, Nelson assumed the scoring duties for Saint Joseph's. Though he started at point guard, Nelson played off the ball most of the game, and finished 13-of-34 from the field, including 6-of-15 from 3-point range.

"I don't think I ever took 34 shots in a practice, but I did what I had to do," Nelson said. "I was a little fatigued in the second half, but this was a big-time game. I didn't want to let my team down."

Saint Joseph's had a chance to win it in regulation, but Nelson lost his dribble then missed a desperation shot from halfcourt at the buzzer.

"That's two quality teams out there," Saint Joseph's coach Phil Martelli said. "Everybody on our team contributed and we got maximum effort."

Martelli might have said the same thing about his fans. They threw towels and at least one bottle onto the court in the final seconds, drawing a technical foul.

"I knew we were in trouble when our bus pulled up and they told us we had to go in from the back door," Matta said, joking.




BENGALS-NFL
Bills seek to sign Spikes
Bengals entertain 8 free agents
Arizona loses Plummer, Boston

REDS-BASEBALL
DAUGHERTY: Griffey still reluctant star
Lopez welcomes fresh start with Reds
Reds Notebook: Freel making name for himself
Blue Jays 10, Reds 3
Eventful day for Wells, Cone
Exhibition Standings
Umpires union files grievance

XAVIER BASKETBALL
Xavier 88, St. Joseph's 80
Xavier living on the edge
XU's Boothe A-10's top rookie
UD safety worries played into SBU forfeit

UC BASKETBALL
UC 87, UAB 70
Stokes goes out with teary eyes
Land leaves UC; Flowers suspended
UC women dominate C-USA team

UK BASKETBALL
Kentucky 106, Vanderbilt 44
UK Notebook: Tragedy marked, Stewart honored

MORE COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Ohio 64, Miami 56
DePaul 79, Louisville 76
Ohio St. 52, Northwestern 48
Top 25: Wisconsin wins Big Ten by itself
Son out, Harrick's future tenuous
Wright State fires coach
NKU women 71, Wis.-Parkside 67

HOCKEY
Cyclones face battle for survival

NBA
NBA Games: Lakers' Horry beats buzzer

COLLEGE FOOTBALL
QB will deny betting on Florida St. games

AUTO RACING
Atlanta one of NASCAR's fastest stops

GOLF
Fitter, slimmer Nicklaus back with Masters on mind

HIGH SCHOOL SPORTS
Today's Prep Basketball Schedule
Bacon's size helps score another victory
Woodward falls to Alter
Georgetown, NCH to meet for title
Ohio Boys Basketball Scores
Ohio Girls Basketball Scores
Ohio Girls Regional Pairings
Defense drives St. Henry by Ryle
Ky. Games: Due free throws key Scott

TV-RADIO
Sports on TV-Radio

Return to Xavier front page...

Mail This Story (Click here) Send this story to a friend.