Men's Basketball Wins Exhibition Opener

CINCINNATI --- Xavier topped the EA All-Stars 92-63 in the first exhibition game for the Musketeers of the 2002-2003 season on Tuesday night in front of 6,222 fans at the Cintas Center.

David West scored 21 points to lead the Musketeers. He also pulled down nine rebounds. Romain Sato added 20 points and Lionel Chalmers scored 15.

The Musketeers used their defense to build an eight point advantage eight minutes into the contest. Xavier led 20-12 at the 12 minute mark after forcing eight turnovers while stealing the ball four times and blocking two shots.

“Early I thought we were very active defensively, and that’s something I thought was going to be important,” said second-year head coach Thad Matta. “In the first half, we were able to score off their turnovers.”

XU stretched the lead to as many as 20 during the opening period, and led 44-26 at the break. The Musketeers forced 15 first half turnovers while recording nine steals and four blocks.

The Musketeers quickly extended the lead in the opening minutes of the second half, and Matta took advantage of the situation by using several different lineups.

Xavier’s shot well in the game, connecting on 48.6 percent of its shots (35-of-72), including going 9-for-20 (45 percent) from three point range.

“I was pretty pleased with what I saw there,” Matta said. “I thought the unselfishness was good. The 24 assists were good. We got some pretty good shots.”

XU forced a total of 23 turnovers in the contest.

Former Kansas player Adonis Jordan led the EA All-Stars with 16 points in the contest.

Xavier will play its second exhibition game next Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. against the One World All-Stars at the Cintas Center.

The regular season will begin for the Musketeers with the opening round of the Preseason NIT. XU will face St. Peter's on Monday, Nov. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Cintas Center.