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Xavier Oh Whips Chicago State


No. 16 Xavier got through another round of growing pains by letting its most versatile player show his stuff.

James Posey scored 21 points and pulled the Musketeers out of a first-half funk Saturday, leading them to a 90-50 victory over winless Chicago State.

Xavier (2-0) opened the game with a 12-1 run that included no points from Posey, then turned to its most dangerous player when the offense bogged down and the lead slipped to seven.

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Posey had a 3-pointer and another basket in a 9-0 spurt that built the lead to 18 points late in the first half. His three alley-oop dunks helped Xavier extend the lead to 30 points midway through the second half.

Posey went 9-for-12 from the field and had a game-high 12 rebounds.

"I had open shots," said Posey, who found the soft spots in Chicago State's zone. "It was just a matter of knocking them down. When they try to clamp down, you knock it out to an open shooter."

Lenny Brown added 15 points -- all on 3-point shots -- and Lloyd Price had 11 for Xavier, which had trouble sustaining its full-court pressure and its half-court offense with a bench full of newcomers.

"That's why they call them growing pains. Sometimes it's going to be painful to watch us defensively," coach Skip Prosser said. "At times I was frustrated that we traded baskets during stretches. It's not a taking turns game. You've got to make some stops."

Chicago State (0-3) suffered its third consecutive double-digit loss under first-year coach Bo Ellis, who is trying to pump some life into a program that has never won more than two Mid-Continent Conference games in a season.

Jermaine Hicks had 15 points for Chicago State, which had 31 turnovers and shot 35 percent.

The Cougars were 2-25 last season and failed to make the conference tournament because they scheduled too many regular-season games. Ellis was named head coach last March.

"It's going to be a log year and I understand that," Ellis said. "We've just got to get them better."

The victory was the 100th in Prosser's career. He went 17-13 in one year at Loyola and is 83-34 in his fifth season at Xavier for an overall mark of 100-47.

Prosser's team has struggled in its first two games as it tried to meld a rebuilt front line with a veteran backcourt of Gary Lumpkin and Brown and the versatile Posey, a 6-foot-8 forward who has been Xavier's sixth man.

Chicago State missed its first six shot and has seven turnovers as Xavier pulled ahead quickly, but the Musketeers hit a lull and wound up missing eight of their first 12 shots.

Xavier was discombobulated on offense and until Posey began hitting jumpers from the key midway through the half.

"Posey's real smooth and has a great feel for the game," Ellis said. "That's the type of player we've got to do a great job on to have a chance. The kid stepped up."

Brown and Lumpkin were a combined 1-for-8 in the half, which ended with Xavier ahead 38-23.

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