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Updated: Friday, December 20, 2002 10:59 PM EST
NCAA BASKETBALL RECAP
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(20) Xavier 87, Ball St 58
BALL ST. CARDINALS
Ball St. Cardinals
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XAVIER (OH) MUSKETEERS
Xavier (OH) Musketeers
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CINCINNATI (Ticker) -- David West made up for a dismal first half with quite a start to the second.

West scored 16 of his 24 points in a five-minute span to open the second half as No. 20 Xavier pulled away for an 87-58 victory over Ball State.

West, a preseason All-American, managed just four points and a pair of early fouls in the first half in four minutes as Xavier (6-2) held a 31-27 edge. But the senior forward scored the Musketeers' first 10 points of the second half as they took control.

"I don't think I've sat out that long since my freshman year," West said. "I just wanted to come out and play. I jumped some rope to get loose. I was eager to play."

After West did all the scoring in a 10-4 run, Lionel Chalmers drained a 3-pointer and West added an inside hoop. Ball State (5-4) got a basket from Cameron Echols to get within 46-33.

Xavier's Anthony Myles converted a layup, West scored four points and freshman Will Caudle's basket capped what amounted to a 23-6 run for a commanding 54-33 advantage.

"We didn't guard him (West)," said Ball State coach Tim Buckley, who received a technical foul during the spurt. "He made great plays. He's not a guy that you can stop."

West made 10-of-11 shots to lead the Musketeers.

"The second half was much better than the first," Xavier coach Thad Matta said. "I thought that was a great team win for us."

Chris Williams scored 24 points to lead the Cardinals, which lost their second straight. Williams and backcourt mate Matt McCollum combined for 11 of the team's 18 turnovers. McCollum missed all seven shots.

Caudle added a season-high 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting and starting center Anthony Myles made 3-f-4 shots for seven points as Xavier dominated on the interior. West grabbed nine rebounds, helping the Musketeers garner a 39-33 edge on the glass.

"(Will) did a good job of being at the right place at the right time," Matta said. "He was able to finish tonight."

It all took a toll on Ball State center Kevin Cates, who fouled out with five points in 21 minutes. Echols was the only other Cardinal in double figures with 14 points.

Despite the win, Xavier shooting guard Romain Sato's struggled continued. Sato was 2-of-15 for eight points and missed all seven 3-pointers. Sato has missed 15 straight shots from beyond the arc.

Musketeers point guard Lionel Chalmers finished with 10 points, nine rebounds and eight rebounds. Dedrick Finn came up with four steals as Xavier scored 21 points off the 18 turnovers.

"They were in some kind of matchup zone, so they were leaving the middle open," Chalmers said. "Attack - that was the plan."

Ball State is playing without star swingman Theron Smith, who is applying for a medical redshirt. Smith led the team in scoring a year ago and entered the NBA draft before opting to return to school.

The Musketeers have won five of seven meetings with the Cardinals.


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