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Updated: Saturday, December 28, 2002 1:04 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL PREVIEW
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Eastern Ky (5-4) at No. 20 Xavier (7-2)
EASTERN KENTUCKY COLONELS
Eastern Kentucky Colonels
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XAVIER (OH) MUSKETEERS
Xavier (OH) Musketeers
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CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- No. 20 Xavier tries to remain perfect at home before it enters a difficult stretch when it entertains Eastern Kentucky on Saturday night.

Xavier (7-2) is 5-0 at home this season. This game comes before a New Year's Eve contest against Creighton and a visit to Alabama.

Romain Sato snapped out of a shooting slump with a season-high 33 points as Xavier posted a 96-88 victory at Siena on Monday night. Sato nailed 6-of-12 3-pointers after missing 17 straight and scoring only 25 points in the previous three games.

David West collected 21 points and 13 rebounds and Lionel Chalmers had a successful return home with 16 points. The Musketeers prevailed despite allowing their opponents to shoot over 51 percent (33-of-64).

West, a two-time Atlantic 10 Player of the Year, has five double-doubles and is averaging 19.6 points and 10.7 rebounds per game.

Eastern Kentucky (5-4) has lost three straight, including an 84-73 defeat to Winthrop last Saturday. Freshman Matt Witt scored 26 points to lead the Colonels.

The only other game for Eastern Kentucky against a major opponent was a 104-63 defeat at Louisville on December 17. Witt scored 17 points.

Xavier is 10-5 against Eastern Kentucky, including a 93-75 victory on November 22, 2000. The Colonels have lost five straight to the Musketeers since a setback in the 1954-55 season.


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