Xavier 96; Temple 65

March 9, 2003 at 1:47 AM
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CINCINNATI, March 8 (UPI) -- David West had 17 points and eight rebounds Sarurday as 11th-ranked Xavier matched a school record with its 15 straight win, 96-65, over Atlantic 10 foe Temple.

West made 5-of-8 shots from the floor and handed out seven assists as Xavier (24-4, 15-1 A-10 West) clinched the league's outright regular-season title.

The 6-9 West is first on the Atlantic 10's all-time rebounding list with 1,250 and ninth with 2,034 points. His jersey joined Byron Larkin's and current Philadelphia 76ers forward Tyrone Hill's as the only ones retired by the school.

Lionel Chalmers also scored 17 points for the Musketeers, who used a 17-4 run to stretch a 40-34 halftime advantage. Xavier matched a school record with 14 three-pointers.

"We feel like we have some good momentum now, beating a good team like that, they were 8-1 in February," West said. "What they want you to do is stand still so they can guard you. If you move around the basket, you get good looks."

West is the first Division I player with at least 2,000 points and 1,000 rebounds since current Dallas Mavericks center-forward Raef LaFrentz finished his career at Kansas in 1998 with 2,066 and 1,186.

"I think he's deserving of having his jersey hanging here," said Xavier Coach Thad Matta. "It was one of the best Senior Day's I've ever seen. That's the most unselfish 2,000 points I've ever seen. To have seven assists today, that shows you the kind of player he is."

Romain Sato had 29 points and six rebounds, and Lionel Chalmers added 17 points for the Musketeers, who used an 18-2 run to stretch a 40-34 halftime advantage. Xavier matched a school record with 14 three-pointers.

Alex Wesby scored 24 points and David Hawkins added 20 for Temple (13-14, 10-6), which had a six-game winning streak snapped

"I have to believe this (Xavier) team is better than (any of Temple's five Elite 8 teams) because they've got more weapons," said Temple Coach John Chaney. "I have not seen them off. I have seen Sato off, but I only have five fingers, and they have six holes to try and fill, and West counts for two of them."

In a strnge development, Temple played without assistant coach Nate Blackwell, who was suspended for violating a team rule.

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