Friday, January 29, 1999

XU faces women's No. 11


Muskies hot, Va. Tech hotter

BY MICHAEL PERRY
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Xavier has a chance tonight to beat the last remaining unbeaten Division I women's basketball team.

        The Musketeers play host to Virginia Tech, 18-0 and ranked No. 11, at 7 p.m. at Schmidt Fieldhouse.

        Tickets are $4 adults, $2 children.

        XU, off to its best-ever start at 15-3, owns a five-game winning streak against the Hokies.

        “It's a great opportunity to play on a national level that we don't always get within our conference,” Xavier coach Melanie Balcomb said. “And, we've been successful with them in the past, so the kids believe they could beat them.

        “If we were playing the No. 11 team and it was Duke, the kids would probably come in with more fear than confidence.”

        It's a big conference game, too. Virginia Tech leads the Atlantic 10 West Division at 8-0. Xavier is 6-2.

        The Hokies returned all their top players from last season and added one of the league's top newcomers in freshman Nicole Jones.

        The Musketeers won 83-74 at Schmidt and 69-68 in Blacksburg, Va., last season.

        “We match up really well with each other,” Balcomb said. “I'm not saying they're not better in some areas ... but we recruit similar types of athletes. I think (their) players would fit into our philosophy.”

       



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