Tuesday, March 02, 1999

XU, UC women lose conference finals

UC coach Laurie Pirtle shows her disappointment near the end of Monday night's C-USA championship game.
(AP photo)

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        The women's NCAA Tournament draw is Sunday and the Xavier and Cincinnati basketball teams will be watching. Both teams lost a chance to earn automatic berths by losing their conference cham pionship games Monday.

        Tulane, ranked 24th, defeated UC 58-44 for the Conference USA tournament title. St. Joseph's beat XU 85-73 for the Atlantic 10 Conference tournament title.

        Xavier, which played for the fourth straight day, got 17 points from Nicole Levandusky, 14 points and eight assists from Nikki Kremer and 13 points from Jennifer Phillips against St. Joe.

        The Musketeers seem to have a good chance at gaining an at-large bid for the NCAA Tournament after beating top-seeded Virginia Tech in the semifinals and winning six of their last eight games.

Xavier's Jennifer Phillips chases St. Joseph's Jana Lichnerova after a steal.
(AP photo)

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        “We dug ourselves into a hole in the first half,” Xavier coach Melanie Balcomb said of her team's first-half performance when the Musketeers turned the ball over 10 times. “We like to play up tempo, but they wouldn't allow that.”

        Candice Roberson led Cincinnati with 12 points and Doris Scott scored 11. Madi nah Slaise, the Bearcats' leading scorer, was held to six points, 15 below her average.

        “It was a game of surges both ways, and that eventually worked against us,” UC coach Laurie Pirtle said. “They did a really nice job of pressuring us and forcing steals, and we never did a good job of countering that.”

        The Bearcats also seem to have a good chance to at an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.


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