Saturday, January 18, 2003

UC women extend home winning streak to 19


XU 72, Richmond 67

By Shannon Russell
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The University of Cincinnati and Texas Christian shared No. 1 billing in Conference USA's preseason coaches poll, but it was the Bearcats who stole the show in Friday's 68-61 win at Shoemaker Center.

UC extended its home-game winning streak to 19 and handed the defending C-USA regular-season champs a third straight loss

But for the Bearcats - reigning C-USA Tournament champs - the win was anything but easy.

"The whole game was a funny game," UC coach Laurie Pirtle said. "It sort of felt like the wheel was coming off, then it came back together. We came back together."

UC entered the game No. 2 in the nation for fewest team turnovers a game (11.3). In the first half, the Bearcats committed 12.

Starting center Debbie Merrill was charged with two fouls within the first 4:28 and sat out most of the first half. Starters Carolyn Alexander and Brittani Young also suffered early foul trouble, which shuffled the Bearcats offense.

While UC adjusted to lineup changes and defensive shifts, the Lady Frogs found an unexpected lift from their lowest-scoring starter. Guard Tricia Payne - who averages 6.4 points a game - tied a career-high mark with five 3-pointers and 21 points.

"I thought we looked stupid, leaving her open," Pirtle said. "That's like leaving Val (King) open. We were working so hard on the post that we were mismatched from the perimeter."

Six-foot-4 center Sandora Irvin, TCU's top scorer and rebounder coming into the game, was held to 11 points and five boards and fouled out with 2:09 to play.

Thanks, in part, to senior forward DeAnna Stevenson. Coming off the bench to replace Merrill, the Withrow High School grad and Cincinnati State transfer had the best game of her career.

Her defense limited Irvin to single-digit scoring in the first half, and Stevenson finished with career highs in scoring (nine points) and rebounding (nine).

TCU (61)--Evans 3-8 1-2 4, Irvin 4-12 3-4 11, Baldwin 0-2 0-2 0, Shaw 5-15 2-4 13, Payne 7-9 2-2 21, Browning 1-3 0-0 2, Ortega 1-3 2-2 4, Newton 1-5 1-1 3, Gantt 0-0 0-0 0, Wynn 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 22-58 11-17 61.

Cincinnati (68)--Alexander 1-4 1-2 3, Young 0-4 1-2 1, Merrill 8-10 4-5 20, Sharp 6-15 3-4 15, King 4-13 8-9 18, Harvey 0-3 2-4 2, Stevenson 4-8 1-3 9, Stephens 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 23-57 20-29 68.

Halftime: TCU 33-29. 3-point goals: TCU 6-12 (Evans 0-2, Shaw 1-3, Payne 5-6, Browning 0-1), Cincinnati 2-9 (Sharp 0-1, King 2-7, Harvey 0-1). Rebounds: TCU 28 (Evans 6), Cincinnati 46 (Sharp, Stevenson 9). Assists: TCU 11 (Payne 5), Cincinnati 16 (Sharp 6). Records: T 7-8 0-2 C-USA; C 12-3, 2-0.

XU 72, Richmond 67

RICHMOND, Va. - For the third straight game, Xavier senior guard Amy Waugh scored at least 20 points, as she tallied 26 Friday.

Freshman Tara Boothe added 15 points and nine rebounds, and senior Reetta Piipari had 13 points and six assists for Xavier (11-4, 3-1 A-10).

Ebony Tanner scored 10 of her team-high 23 points in the first nine minutes of the second half to help the Spiders (11-4, 2-2) tie the score at 40.

The Musketeers play at noon Sunday at George Washington.

Ticket update

Tickets for the UC women's basketball game against Houston on Sunday are $5 for adults and $2 for children. The Cincinnati Recreation Commission has distributed passes good for free admission to the game. Free admission is available only with one of these passes.

Xavier (72)--Boothe 6-11 3-4 15, Henderson 3-10 0-0 7, Waugh 6-12 10-11 26, Piipari 4-10 5-7 13, Wallner 1-4 5-10 7, Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Sarajlija 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 22-52 23-32 72.

Richmond (67)--Desmond 6-9 0-0 12, Flavin 5-10 0-1 10, Tanner 10-15 3-7 23, Gil 4-9 1-1 9, Goppert 5-14 3-3 13, Kiersz 0-1 0-0 0, Ryder 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 30-60 7-12 67.

Halftime: Xavier 31-26. 3-point goals: Xavier 5-13 (Henderson 1-2, Waugh 4-8, Piipari 0-1, Wallner 0-1), Richmond 0-11 (Desmond 0-2, Tanner 0-1, Gil 0-4, Goppert 0-1, Kiersz 0-1, Ryder 0-2). Rebounds: Xavier 39 (Boothe 9), Richmond 27 (Flavin, Tanner 6). Assists: Xavier 16 (Piipari 6), Richmond 19 (Goppert 9). Records: X 11-4, 3-1 A-10; R 11-4 2-2.




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