Thursday, January 21, 1999

XAVIER 76, FORDHAM 56


Brown pumps in 31 for 9th straight win

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        NEW YORK — Senior guard Lenny Brown appeared to be all business Tuesday night at the start of Xavier's informal shootaround at Rose Hill Gym.

        The Musketeers were loose. Lots of smiles and laughs. James Posey was bombing in threes from 25, 30 feet out.

        And there was Brown, first on a side basket, then among his teammates, methodically working his way around the three-point arc practicing his jumper. Only later did he join the fun.

        “This gym is hard to get used to because it's smaller than a lot of gyms we play in,” Brown said. “I just wanted to get a feel for the background. That's important to shooter.”

        The payoff came Wednesday night.

        Xavier turned a close game into a rout and blew past Fordham 76-56 for its ninth consecutive victory, during which Brown scored from all over the court before 2,237 fans.

        He finished with 31 points — tying his career high set against Rhode Island Jan. 3 — on 13-of-17 shooting.

        Brown nailed three three-pointers. Twice he drove to the basket from the left side and hit a kind of no-look layup falling toward the baseline. In the second half, he scored on another acrobatic layup while being fouled, then hit the free throw to give Xavier a 57-44 lead with 9:10 remaining.

        He scored on mid-range jumpers and short pull-ups in the paint.

        “I was in a groove,” Brown said. “I felt good. They had a lot of tricky defenses where I had to recognize what they were in.”

        Nothing mattered.

        Brown had 18 by halftime, more than he has scored in 12 games this season, including the last three.

        “And I thought we did a helluva job on him in the first half,” Fordham coach Nick Macarchuk said. “Most of the time we guarded him, and he was absolutely sensational.”

        “I think he's cogniziant of the fact that it's coming to an end and he wants to make these last few weeks, these last few games extremely special,” Xavier coach Skip Prosser said. “I think his focus is even more intense.”

        Fordham was within three early in the second half before the Musketeers went on a quick 9-2 run. The Rams were still within eight points with 10:03 left, then they faded into the night.

        “I don't even remember what happened, because the dam broke and the water was coming out so fast,” Macarchuk said. “They overpowered us in the second half and took all of our life and energy.”

        XU improved to 14-4, 6-0 Atlantic 10 and defeated the Rams for the sixth straight time. Fordham fell to 6-9, 0-6, losing its sixth in a row.

        Posey added 12 points and a team-high nine rebounds for the Musketeers, and freshman Lloyd Price came off the bench for 10 points and five boards.

        Bevon Robin, Fordham's leading scorer (16.5 ppg), was held to 10 points on 4-of-16 shooting. XU sophomore Maurice McAfee was the opponent who seemed to give Robin the most fits, hounding him with each dribble and move.

        “We knew he could score,” McAfee said. “We wanted to make it hard for him. I can tell by the look on his face if he's frustrated. I just saw him talk to the ref a couple of times.”

        “He really can stick to you,” Prosser said of McAfee. “He's parasitic. He really gave us a tremendous lift.”

        It looked like the Musketeers might pull away early. They trailed 10-4, then the Rams went 6:41 without scoring, missing six straight shots and committing five turnovers. XU used a 13-2 run to go ahead 17-10.

        To that point, Brown had scored 11 of Xavier's points.

        Said Brown: “(Assistant) coach (Jeff) Battle said it best before the game. He said, "If you win by 30, you're supposed to because they're 0-5.'

        If we had won by two, everybody would be like, "They struggled against Fordham.' So it was one of those games where it was more mental than physical. We just had to find the motivation to go out and win.”

XU NOTEBOOK
SEASON IN STORIES


XAVIER (76)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            23   3-4   0-0   2-6  1  4    6
Posey           38   2-7  8-10   1-9  3  3   12
Harris          13   0-1   0-0   0-2  0  2    0
L Brown         32 13-17   2-3   1-1  0  3   31
Lumpkin         28   2-9   1-1   0-0  2  2    6
Mcafee          26   1-3   0-0   1-5  5  3    2
A Brown          2   1-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    2
Price           22   5-7   0-1   1-5  0  1   10
Turner          14   3-4   1-4   2-6  0  1    7
Butler           2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 30-54 12-19  8-34 11 20   76
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.556, FT-.632. 3-Point Goals:
4-15, .267 (Posey 0-1, L Brown 3-6, Lumpkin 1-5,
Mcafee 0-1, Price 0-1, Turner 0-1). Team
rebounds: 1. Blocked shots: 3 (Harris, L Brown,
Price). Turnovers: 11 (Lumpkin 4, Mcafee 2,
Turner 2, Butler, Price). Steals: 8 (Posey 4,
Frey 2, L Brown, Price).


FORDHAM (56)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Johnson         22   0-1   0-0   0-3  4  3    0
Griffin          9   0-1   0-0   0-3  1  2    0
Olivares        31  4-10   7-9   1-2  2  1   15
Harris          33  3-11   2-3   0-1  0  2   11
Robin           34  4-16   0-0   2-4  2  4   10
Lovett          12   1-1   2-2   0-1  1  1    4
Harmatuk        20   0-3   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Canal           18   3-4   0-0   1-3  1  4    6
Mckamey          9   2-3   0-0   2-3  0  1    4
Kuchinsky        3   2-2   0-1   0-0  0  0    4
Pugh             9   0-1   2-2   1-3  0  1    2
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 19-53 13-17  7-23 11 20   56
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.358, FT-.765. 3-Point Goals:
5-23, .217 (Johnson 0-1, Olivares 0-1, Harris
3-10, Robin 2-8, Harmatuk 0-3). Team rebounds: 7.
Blocked shots: 2 (Olivares, Mckamey). Turnovers:
15 (Olivares 3, Lovett 2, Mckamey 2, Robin 2,
Canal, Harmatuk, Harris, Johnson, Kuchinsky).
Steals: 7 (Robin 3, Johnson 2, Harmatuk,
Olivares).
__________________________________
Xavier             34   42  -   76
Fordham            33   23  -   56
__________________________________
Technical fouls: None.  A: 2,237. Officials:
Larry Lembo, Arnie Mcdonald, Joe Mingle.


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