Stanford Stuns No. 11 Xavier, 63-62 To Advance To New York

Nov. 20, 2002

AP Sports Writer

STANFORD, Calif. - A strong showing in the Preseason NIT might put Stanford back where it had been for so long - in the national spotlight.

The Cardinal are off to a good start.

Julius Barnes scored 14 points, including two free throws with 27 seconds left, and Stanford ran out the clock to upset No. 11 Xavier 63-62 on Wednesday night in the quarterfinals.

The Cardinal advanced to the semifinals next Wednesday at New York's Madison Square Garden against the winner of Thursday night's game between Eastern Illinois and No. 8 Florida.

In another Preseason NIT second-round game Wednesday night, North Carolina beat Rutgers 71-67. The other semifinal will have North Carolina against the winner of Friday night's game between North Carolina-Greensboro and No. 2 Kansas.

'Xavier is a legitimately good Top Ten team,' Stanford coach Mike Montgomery said. 'They've (Cardinal) got to feel good about this win.'

Stanford certainly made a statement for getting back into the Top 25. The Cardinal were not in the preseason AP poll, the first time the school had missed out in 94 weeks - the second longest current streak to Duke.

Stanford (2-0) held on after Xavier's Lionel Chalmers made a short, off-balance jumper with 12 seconds left. Chalmers led the Musketeers (1-1) with 20 points, 14 in the second half as Xavier came back after a poor start. Chalmers was 5-for-8 from the field in the second half.

Stanford center Rob Little, left, defends against Xavier forward David West during the first half of the second round of the NIT Tournament.

The Cardinal got the ball under Xavier's hoop after Chalmers scored, then passed the ball around as Xavier tried to foul and ran out the clock. The fans then swarmed the court.

Stanford played inspired for its rowdy home crowd, going hard to the boards and pushing the tempo, but became impatient in the second half and began to force things offensively before settling down.

'I'm not sure this is the same team you saw Monday night,' Montgomery said, referring to the team's 61-57 first-round win over Boston University. 'I wasn't sure that we had that kind of game in us yet.'

Barnes' free throws were big after Stanford struggled all night from the line, going only 5-for-13 in the second half before he converted his attempts. Stanford finished the game 11-for-21 from the line.

David West scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds for Xavier and Romain Sato added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

After scoring 13 first-half points, Stanford's Josh Childress was limited to only a free throw the rest of the way and three field goal attempts.

Barnes is the Cardinal's leading returning scorer from a team that lost juniors Casey Jacobsen and Curtis Borchardt to the NBA draft and thus the preseason predictions for Stanford to finish in the middle of the Pac-10 Conference.

Julius was the right guy on the line late in the game for us.
Head coach Mike Montgomery

'Julius was the right guy on the line late in the game for us,' Montgomery said. 'I'm still very concerned about our free throws. There's no way we can give up that many points at the line and still win games.'

Xavier began the second half with an 11-1 run to take its first lead since going ahead 8-6 on West's 3-pointer 2:53 into the game. Chalmers hit two free throws to make it 44-43 with 15:20 left. The teams then traded baskets the rest of the way.

Anthony Coleman pulled the Musketeers within 50-49 when he banked in a 3-pointer as the shot clock sounded after a scramble for the ball with 9:45 left. Then Sato gave Xavier a 51-50 lead on a driving lay-in the next time down the floor.

Stanford went ahead for good on two free throws by Barnes with 7:17 left.

Montgomery, who needs five more wins to reach 500, used what he called a 'one-three hybrid zone' defense against the speedy Musketeers.

'Is that a zone?' Xavier coach Thad Matta asked. 'I guess that slowed us down a little bit. We stood around too much. We just didn't play up to our abilities, especially late in the game.'

Stanford has not lost to a ranked nonconference opponent since Feb. 6, 1999, against Connecticut at Maples Pavilion. The Cardinal have won 16 straight nonconference games at home dating to the loss to UConn.



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