TOLEDO 74, XAVIER 67
Stretch run wholly Toledo

Thursday, December 10, 1998

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[price]
Lloyd Price and Toledo's Clayton Burch scramble for a loose ball.
(AP photo)

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TOLEDO - The Xavier basketball team's games are starting to look alike. The losses for sure.

Another game was there for the taking Wednesday night. Again, it was the other team that took it. This time, it was unbeaten Toledo, 74-67.

With 1:21 left, many of the 7,002 Toledo fans in SavageHall began the now familiar "Over-rated" chant. At the final buzzer, the students stormed the court.

"That hurts, but on the other hand it motivates you," XU freshman Lloyd Price said. "You don't ever want that feeling again."

"It's real frustrating," senior Gary Lumpkin said. "I'm not used to losing like this."

After a 3-0 start, Xavier (5-4) lost for the fourth time in six games and dropped two in a row for the first time since late in the 1995-96 season.

Toledo is 7-0 for the first time since its 1966-67 team started 14-0.

"Their press is not as good as it was last year," Toledo junior Chad Kamstra (Elder High School) said of the Musketeers. "They really miss the inside guys (T.J. Johnson and Torraye Braggs). I just think they play with a lot less confidence than they did last year. They're going to be all right when they get it together." Xavier took its last lead at 47-46 with 9:44 left on a running scoop shot by sophomore Maurice McAfee.

Toledo then scored seven straight points during a 13-4 run that put the Rockets ahead 59-51 with 5:35 to play. XU spent the rest of the game playing catch up, and couldn't.

On Saturday night against Purdue, Xavier was within three points with four minutes left, then was badly outplayed down the stretch. It happened again at Toledo.

And it was somewhat the same story. The Musketeers shot just 37.7 percent from the field and were only 3-of-17 from three-point range.

They committed turnovers during crucial possessions and watched Toledo grab offensive rebounds when the game was close.

Toledo sealed it by making 17 of 24 free throws in the final six minutes. Its last field goal came with 6:08 to play.

"Same thing," senior James Posey said. "We're not stepping up."

With 14:08 remaining, Toledo's Greg Stempin had more field goals (9) than the entire Xavier team (8). Stempin, who came in averaging 15.5 points a game, finished with a career-high 23 points on 10-of-16 shooting.

Price led Xavier with a career-high 18 points. Posey had 15 points and 15 rebounds for his fifth double-double of the season. Lumpkin added 13 points.

XU finished with 20 turnovers; it had 26 against Purdue.

"We're pressing the whole game and they're not and we have more turnovers than they do," XU coach Skip Prosser said in disbelief. "I'm disappointed with our shooting percentage. We make some decisions which are less than cerebral in terms of fouling too much. Collectively, we're just not making correct basketball plays." Twenty minutes before tipoff, the Xavier players were the most audible thing in Savage Hall. Fans were filtering in. The band was warming up. But you could clearly see the Musketeers hootin' and hollerin', smiling and laughing, clapping and high-fiving.

They were pumped. They were ready.

Then they picked up right where they left off against Purdue. XU began 3-of-14 from the field and had eight turnovers in the first nine minutes. Xavier had only one field goal in the first 8 minutes. Toledo's lead reached nine points.

For the half, the Musketeers shot 22.7 percent from the field, had 12 turnovers, totaled just five field goals and trailed only 28-27. They stayed in it by hitting 16 of 21 free throws.

"I feel (the excitement) carried into the game, but we had to keep that same emotion during the whole game," Price said. "I don't think we did that."

Prosser likes to say his team can learn from its losses. So far, that has not appeared to be the case.

"It's to the point now where we must be a very slow study," Prosser said. ". . . I don't think we've been at our best for a long time. I take full share of the blame. I'm in charge.

"We're going to get better. Mark it down."

Notebook: Prosser skips post-game show


XAVIER (67)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Price           38  7-13   2-5   0-4  0  4   18
Frey            21   0-2   0-0   0-2  1  5    0
Posey           38  3-11   9-9  2-15  0  4   15
L Brown         18   1-5   3-4   1-2  0  5    6
Lumpkin         36  4-11   5-8   1-4  4  5   13
Mcafee          21   3-6   2-3   1-1  1  5    8
A Brown          5   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  4    0
Harris           4   0-0   0-0   0-1  0  2    0
Walker          19   2-4   3-4   3-5  1  3    7
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-53 24-33  8-34  7 37   67
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.377, FT-.727. 3-Point Goals:
3-17, .176 (Price 2-4, Frey 0-1, Posey 0-5, L
Brown 1-3, Lumpkin 0-3, Mcafee 0-1). Team
rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 1 (Price). Turnovers:
20 (Posey 6, Lumpkin 4, Mcafee 3, Price 3, L
Brown 2, Walker 2). Steals: 8 (Posey 4, Price 2,
Lumpkin, Mcafee).


TOLEDO (74)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Kizer           31   2-3   5-8  2-12  2  4   10
Stempin         38 10-16   3-6   1-7  1  3   23
Fedak           30   3-3   3-5   0-4  2  4    9
Burch           21   0-6   3-4   0-1  4  3    3
Kamstra         19   0-4   0-0   0-1  1  1    0
Hall            20   2-3   4-7   0-0  1  3    9
Norman          20   3-6  9-12   4-7  0  4   17
Cullars          9   0-1   1-2   0-1  1  3    1
Wilson           8   0-0   2-2   0-1  1  1    2
Strong           4   0-0   0-1   0-1  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-42 30-47  7-35 13 26   74
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.476, FT-.638. 3-Point Goals:
4-18, .222 (Kizer 1-2, Stempin 0-4, Burch 0-2,
Kamstra 0-3, Hall 1-2, Norman 2-5). Team
rebounds: None. Blocked shots: 1 (Fedak).
Turnovers: 19 (Hall 7, Burch 3, Kizer 3, Fedak 2,
Norman 2, Strong). Steals: 11 (Burch 2, Fedak 2,
Kizer 2, Stempin 2, Cullars, Strong, Wilson).
__________________________________
Xavier             27   40  -   67
Toledo             28   46  -   74
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 7,002. Officials: Tim
Fogherty, Keith Herring, Mike Roberts.
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