Sunday, February 1, 2004

And the winner is ...


Brown lifts XU - again

Still, two or three times a month, Lenny Brown is asked about it. Of the 1,885 points he scored at Xavier, those two will define him.

Nov. 26, 1996. Tie game, 5.4 seconds left. XU staring down the nation's top-ranked team, archrival Cincinnati, on the Bearcats' court. Brown, then a sophomore, gets the inbounds pass, drives just inside the foul line and floats a falling jumper over the outstretched arms of UC's Rodrick Monroe.

The gym falls silent.

"It seemed like it took 10 minutes to fall," XU teammate Darnell Williams said Friday.

Splash.

VIDEO
    See Brown bury the Bearcats.
"I remember the silence I heard, my teammates running toward me," Brown recalled. "We had talked about it in the locker room, how (winning) would be something we'd remember all our lives."

Xavier's 71-69 upset was the most dramatic finish in Crosstown Shootout history. That, added to the magnitude of the win - XU was a 17 1/2-point underdog - earned it the top spot in online voting for the most memorable Shootouts.

Brown, who ranks as the No. 4 all-time scorer in XU history, played one season for the now-defunct Cincinnati Stuff and one season in Belgium. Basketball might be over, as he hasn't played since 2001. He has been working as a schoolteacher in Wilmington, Del.

Yet forever, there will be that moment.

"Sometimes I zone out and think about that game, that shot," he said. "To appreciate it is what I do every day. No one can take that away from me."

XU outscored UC 8-1 over the final 78 seconds that night. Some Musketeers insisted they knew they would win. In a rivalry that appeared to be tilting heavily in UC's favor, the upset began a run in which XU has won five of seven games.

The final play was designed to go inside to T.J. Johnson, but XU coaches trusted the unflappable Brown if he chose to keep it.

"Lenny had ice water in his veins," XU teammate Sherwin Anderson recalled. "He made one quick move, and (the shot) was just Michael Jordanesque. That's the shot you practice your whole life."

The furious finish in 1996

Here's the play-by-play of the final 78 seconds of Xavier's upset of Cincinnati in 1996.

• 1:18 - XU's T.J. Johnson scores on a stickback: UC 68-65.

• :47 - UC's Damon Flint misses a long jumper.

• :41.4 - UC's Danny Fortson fouls James Posey trying to rebound. It's the fifth foul for Fortson, who had 18 points and nine rebounds. Posey makes two foul shots: UC 68-67.

• :39.8 - XU's Darnell Williams fouls UC's Darnell Burton on the inbounds play, Williams' fifth foul. Burton makes one of two foul shots: UC 69-67.

• :07.1 - XU's Gary Lumpkin misses a running jumper, but UC knocks the ball out of bounds.

• :06.7 - XU's Sherwin Anderson inbounds to Posey for an open layup: 69-69.

• :05.4 - UC inbounds to Charles Williams, who loses the ball out of bounds.

• :00 - XU inbounds to Lenny Brown, who dribbles just inside the foul line and sinks the winning shot over Rodrick Monroe's outstretched arms: XU 71-69.

ONLINE VOTING RESULTS1st-placeTotal
Shootoutvotespoints
Brown Buries Bearcats, 19961993,456
Another No. 1 Stunner, 1999833,419
Handshake Game, 1994702,852
The Steal, 2000252,370
Jumpin' Jamal, 1990431,842
Million-Dollar Man, 2001421,841
The Prediction, 1992551,689
Danny Boy, 1996221,595
Stiffend's Shot, 1987351,213
The First One, 19281942

A recap of Nos. 2-10:

ANOTHER NO. 1 STUNNER [Watch this video]

XU 66, No. 1 UC 64:

Kevin Frey snapped a tie game on two foul shots with 30 seconds left as the Musketeers again downed a top-ranked Bearcat team. You can catch this game on ESPN Classic at 5 p.m. Tuesday.

THE HANDSHAKE GAME [Watch this video]

No. 22 XU 82, No. 19 UC 76, OT:

Bob Huggins refused to shake Pete Gillen's hand, and Gillen fumed about the snub.

THE STEAL

XU 69, No. 17 UC 67:

With UC ahead 67-66 and 35 seconds left, Xavier's Lloyd Price stole the ball from Steve Logan and scored the winning layup.

JUMPIN' JAMAL

No. 25 XU 90, UC 88, OT:

A controversial call against UC on a ball knocked out of bounds gave XU the ball, and Jamal Walker hit the winning 3-pointer with seven seconds left.

MILLION-DOLLAR MAN [Watch this video]

UC 75, Xavier 55:

Theo Nelson sank a half-court shot to win a million dollars, and UC rolled after XU's David West sprained an ankle.

THE PREDICTION

UC 93, XU 75:

UC's Terry Nelson said, "Xavier doesn't have a chance. We should blow them out." And the Bearcats did.

DANNY BOY [Watch this video]

No. 3 UC 99, XU 90:

Danny Fortson finished with a career-high 40 points and 17 rebounds.

STIFFEND'S SHOT

UC 75, XU 73:

UC's Joe Stiffend hit a 17-foot jumper at the buzzer for the victory.

THE FIRST ONE

XU 29, UC 25:

The first Shootout was the dedication game for XU's Schmidt Fieldhouse, and a crowd reported at nearly 10,000 saw what was considered a huge upset.

---

E-mail nschmidt@enquirer.com




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