XAVIER 81, GEORGE WASHINGTON 61
Muskies cancel Mr. Rogers Show

Monday, January 18, 1999

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[price]
Lloyd Price grimaces after hitting the floor.
(Michael E. Keating photo)

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Xavier's strategy Sunday was to get the ball out of Shawnta Rogers' hands as much as possible.

Makes sense. George Washington's 5-foot-4 senior point guard came in as the leading scorer in the Atlantic 10 (21 points per game), as well as the leader in assists and steals.

He was coming off a career-high 36 points against Dayton and is the reigning conference player of the week.

"He's a maestro," Xavier coach Skip Prosser said.

So the Musketeers sent two and three players after Rogers on their full-court press in the backcourt. Xavier point guard Gary Lumpkin set out to make Rogers work hard at both ends of the court. "Coach wanted us to make sure it was a miserable game for him," Lumpkin said. "And most likely if he didn't play well, the team wouldn't play well."

That's pretty much what happened.

[posey]
James Posey dunks over GW's Yegor Mescheriakov.
(Michael E. Keating photo)

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Xavier crushed its West Division rival 81-61 before a sold-out Cincinnati Gardens crowd of 10,100 in the most lopsided game in the series between these teams.

Rogers tied his season-low with 11 points and was just 3-of-17 from the field shooting. He had six assists, five steals and five turnovers.

Lumpkin, who scored a career-high 31 points last year against the Colonials, not only defended Rogers for much of the game, but finished with 18 points, five assists, two steals and no turnovers. "I'm sure he plays hard all the time," Prosser said of Lumpkin, "but he knows the reputation and the caliber of player Shawnta is. I'm sure that was an extra incentive.

"He's a man. That's the great thing about athletics that you can't get out of every college experience -- your manhood gets tested. It doesn't happen always in the classroom but it does happen in the arena. That's why it's a big part of education in my humble opinion."

Xavier led the entire game, and the Colonials (9-5, 3-1 A-10) never got closer than seven points in the second half in watching their five-game winning streak come to an end.

[lumpkin]
Gary Lumpkin smothers Shawnta Rogers as Rogers smothers a loose ball.
(AP photo)

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It was the Musketeers (13-4, 5-0) fifth victory in six games against GW, and their eighth consecutive win overall.

James Posey led XU with 20 points. Freshman Kevin Frey had a career-high 14 points and 10 rebounds for his first double-double, and Lenny Brown added 13 points.

XU held the Colonials to 32.3-percent shooting and 19.5 points below their league-leading scoring average.

"We felt we had to play exceedly hard or else they would take our heart," Prosser said. "We're thrilled. I thought we played as well as we've played all year."

At a Xavier-Rhode Island women's soccer game this fall, a student wearing a George Washington sweatshirt approached Lumpkin and told him that Rogers said he was going to score 40 points on the Xavier point guard.

True or not, Lumpkin kept that in the back of his mind for added motivation.

Meanwhile, Rogers knew Xavier would come at him in waves.

"Nobody can check me one-on-one," he said. "If they don't send two or three guys at me, then I'm going to get a bucket or get to the hole.

" . . . It was time for somebody else to step up."

Shots that had been falling for Rogers didn't drop Sunday. He had only five points in the first half and finished 1-of-7 from three-point range. He was 6-of-8 from long distance Thursday night in a 12-point victory over Dayton.

"Defensively, I just tried to let him know I'm there, not let him be in a rocking chair and just running the play with nobody on him," Lumpkin said.

The Musketeers were smart, patient and poised on offense.

They were aggressive on defense.

Lumpkin nailed some big shots, too. He hit a three-pointer from about 25 feet with four seconds left in the first half to put XU ahead 41-32 at intermission. When GW cut it to 54-46 in the second half, Lumpkin sank a three to make it an 11-point deficit with 11:48 remaining. "He's supposed to do that," Prosser said. "He's been doing that for four years. We have a lot of people with some very short memories about Gary Lumpkin."

Xavier started with a 10-0 advantage and led by at least five points the rest of the day.

"I thought Xavier was razor-sharp today," GW coach Tom Penders said. "They had an answer every time we made a little bit of a run. "They played like I thought we played against Dayton. They didn't want to lose this game, and they were ready for it."

XU NOTEBOOK
SEASON IN STORIES


GEO WASHINGTON (61)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Mescheriakov    38  3-11   0-1   0-3  2  3    8
Iturbe          18   1-5   0-0   5-6  0  3    2
Ngongba         22   2-3   3-6   3-3  0  3    7
Rogers          40  3-17   4-5   1-3  6  2   11
King            23  6-13   4-6   2-2  0  5   17
Roma            20   1-1   0-0   1-3  1  1    2
Eyal             9   1-3   4-4   0-1  0  5    7
De Miranda      15   2-5   0-0   1-3  1  2    4
Sola             5   0-1   0-0   1-2  0  0    0
Soares           2   0-0   0-0   1-1  0  1    0
Brown            8   1-3   0-0   1-3  0  1    3
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 20-62 15-22 16-30 10 26   61
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.323, FT-.682. 3-Point Goals:
6-22, .273 (Mescheriakov 2-7, Iturbe 0-1, Rogers
1-7, King 1-3, Eyal 1-2, Sola 0-1, Brown 1-1).
Team rebounds: 5. Blocked shots: 2 (Mescheriakov,
Roma). Turnovers: 21 (Ngongba 5, Rogers 5, King
3, Mescheriakov 3, De Miranda 2, Brown, Iturbe,
Sola). Steals: 9 (Rogers 5, Brown, De Miranda,
Eyal, Iturbe).


XAVIER (81)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Frey            33   2-4 10-11  2-10  0  3   14
Posey           34  7-10   5-6   3-8  5  3   20
Harris          17   2-2   0-0   0-2  0  3    4
Lumpkin         36  6-10   3-4   0-1  5  1   18
L Brown         27   4-9   4-6   0-3  4  3   13
Mcafee          10   0-1   0-0   0-0  2  2    0
A Brown          1   1-1   0-0   0-1  0  0    2
Price           20   2-6   0-0   1-3  2  4    4
Turner          21   1-5   4-6   4-6  1  2    6
Butler           1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 25-48 26-33 10-34 19 21   81
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.521, FT-.788. 3-Point Goals:
5-12, .417 (Posey 1-3, Lumpkin 3-4, L Brown 1-3,
Mcafee 0-1, Price 0-1). Team rebounds: 2. Blocked
shots: 4 (Harris 4). Turnovers: 20 (Posey 8, Frey
5, Mcafee 3, Harris, L Brown, Price). Steals: 9
(Frey 2, Lumpkin 2, Posey 2, Price 2, L Brown).
__________________________________
Geo Washington     32   29  -   61
Xavier             41   40  -   81
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Geo Washington 1 (Ngongba).  A:
10,100. Officials: Frank Scagliotta, Jim Burr,
Tim Higgins.