Monday, December 06, 1999

Slaise, UC beat Xavier in 2 OTs




BY SCOTT MacGREGOR
The Cincinnati Enquirer

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Xavier's Amy Waugh guards UC's Candice Robertson during Sunday's game.
(Josh Biggs photo)
| ZOOM |
        How do you top the best game in a 22-year crosstown rivalry? Take two overtimes to decide it the next season.

        For the second year in a row, the University of Cincinnati and Xavier women needed extra minutes to decide the winner of the women's Crosstown Shootout. And for the second year in a row, it was UC and guard Madinah Slaise that came away with local bragging rights in a thriller.

        Sunday, the teams needed double overtime before the Bearcats muscled out a 77-71 victory at Xavier's Schmidt Fieldhouse. When they last met 10 months ago, UC won 65-61 in one overtime.

        Slaise, UC's 5-foot-10 senior guard, scored 25 points in each game, including a pull-up jumper in the final seconds of the first overtime Sunday to send it to another extra frame. UC pulled ahead for good on a layup by Tish Perry with 3:09 to play as a fatigued Xavier team missed crucial shots.

        It capped a wild day in which the favored Musketeers fell behind by 14 points in the first half, fought back to take a late lead, fell behind again, sent it to overtime, then seemed to have the win in

        hand in the first overtime with a four-point lead with 18 seconds to go.

        That was before Laura Wilder's 3-pointer and Slaise's jumper forced a second encore.

        “What do you say about a double-overtime game?” UC coach Laurie Pirtle said. “We have two teams five minutes apart that can play that level of basketball. I'm impressed.”

        Xavier (5-1) looked to be the better team coming in and was on the verge of cracking the national top 25. UC and Slaise were both struggling with a three-game losing streak. Yet it was the Bearcats (2-3) who won the Shootout for the fourth straight season.

        It was not Slaise's best game — she shot just 10-of-30 from the field — but she got plenty of help from her teammates, including 19 points and eight rebounds from sophomore center Wilder.

        She finished with 11 rebounds and five assists. She hit one of regulation's biggest shots, a 3-pointer to retake the lead after a Xavier 3-pointer had given the Muskies the edge with 1:52 to play.

        Slaise insisted she doesn't get any more riled up for big games or Xavier. She had been held to a total of nine points in UC's last two losses.

        “I try to score within our offense, but sometimes I go haywire,” she said.

        Forward Kim Hotz led Xavier with 18 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman guard Amy Waugh played all but 27 seconds of the game, finishing with 16 points and nine rebounds.        



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