Saturday, March 17, 2001

Xavier women rout Louisville


Musketeers hit record 14 3-pointers

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

[img]
Jennifer Parr reacts after Xavier wiped out Louisville's early lead.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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        This time it would not be close. The lead would be safe.

        Friday night, before a home-court crowd of 6,802 at Cintas Center, the Xavier women's basketball team exorcised the memories of its past two NCAA Tournament losses by thumping Louisville 80-52.

        The Musketeers will play Clemson, a 51-49 winner over Tennessee-Chattanooga, Sunday afternoon for a berth in the Sweet 16 in the Mideast Regional at Birmingham, Ala.

        Sunday's game will begin at 1:05 p.m. at Cintas Center.

        The fourth-seeded Musketeers fell behind 5-0 before beginning their barrage of 3-point shots. They tied a program record with 14 3s.

        Xavier's 3s were two off the NCAA Tournament record, set by Harvard with 16 in 1996.

[img]
Jennifer Phillips scrambles for a loose ball.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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        But it was the Musketeers' defense and rebounding, especially in the first half, that knocked out Louisville.

        “We're known for our offense, and we have a lot of confidence in our offense, but the biggest thing in March is you've got to rebound and play defense,” XU coach Melanie Balcomb said. “We had a great defensive effort in the first half that set the tone.”

        The 29-2 Musketeers held Louisville to 32 percent shooting from the field.

        Louisville opened in a zone defense to guard against the high field-goal percentage shooting of Xavier post players Jennifer Phillips (20 points) and Taru Tuukkanen (7 points).

        “They were packing it in on our post, so we had open shots,” said XU guard Nicole Levandusky, who finished with 18 points on 5-for-12 3s. “Hopefully, eventually, it would open up on the inside.”

        Louisville coach Martin Clapp had a tough choice to make in planning for Xavier. He couldn't guard all of its weapons, so he chose to defend the inside game.

[img]
Taru Tuukkanen fights for a rebound.
(AP photo)
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        “There's a reason Xavier's rated where they are,” he said. “We had to make a decision between going with a zone, which we've played most of the year, knowing their perimeter game is good. We had to hope that they missed, and they didn't. We didn't play our best game, but they are talented.”

        Xavier shot 28 free throws and made 22, but Louisville got to the line only five times, making three.

        “It made it easier on us getting their two posts into (foul) trouble,” Phillips said.

        A 16-0 Xavier run in the first half extended the Musketeers' lead from 8-7 to 24-7.

        Phillips, who made a career-high 12 of 13 free throws, made two to start the run. Levandusky and Jennifer Parr each hit a pair of 3s during that stretch, and after the Cardinals scored to make the score 24-9, Amy Waugh answered with yet another 3.

        Waugh had 11 points, including three 3-pointers. Point guard Reetta Piipari, who leads the nation in assist average, had 10 assists for Xavier.

        The victory was the Musketeers' 19th in a row and 33rd consecutive when they score 80 or more points.

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Amy Waugh shares a light moment with Reeta Piipari
(Craig Ruttle photo)
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        The Musketeers led by as many as 35 points — 78-43 — late in the game.

        Xavier lost its first-round game in last year's NCAA Tournament, to Stephen F. Austin.

        The year before, after winning the first NCAA game in program history, the Musketeers lost 86-84 to perennial power Connecticut.

        But those games weren't on their minds, Levandusky said.

        “We can't do anything about the past,” she said.

Clemson next for XU women
Women's NCAA Roundup
Women's NCAA pairings
Xavier loses to Notre Dame 83-71
SULLIVAN: XU loss not really a surprise
Online pool and college hoops coverage at Cincinnati.com


LOUISVILLE (52)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Sober           30  4-21   0-0   3-5  1  2    8
Ford            23   0-1   0-2   2-4  1  2    0
Ingram          19   1-7   0-0   2-6  1  5    2
Nord            39  9-19   0-0   2-8  6  4   22
Kessans         28   2-7   0-0   1-3  1  3    5
Graham          19   1-2   1-1   0-1  1  1    3
Antoine         15   0-4   0-0   5-5  0  1    0
Alvarado         2   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Bowens           2   0-1   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Brown           23   5-7   2-2   1-4  0  3   12
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-69   3-5 16-36 11 22   52
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.319, FT-.600. 3-Point Goals:
5-23, .217 (Sober 0-8, Nord 4-8, Kessans 1-4,
Graham 0-1, Antoine 0-2). Team rebounds: None.
Blocked shots: 2 (Ford, Graham). Turnovers: 17
(Nord 7, Ford 3, Sober 3, Alvarado, Graham,
Ingram, Kessans). Steals: 12 (Nord 4, Ford 3,
Kessans 3, Antoine, Sober).


XAVIER (80)
                      fg    ft    rb
               min   m-a   m-a   o-t  a pf   tp
Phillips        24   4-5 12-13   0-3  0  1   20
Levandusky      25  5-12   3-4   1-5  1  1   18
Tuukkanen       29   2-8   3-4   0-9  0  1    7
Piipari         29   2-6   0-0   0-3 10  0    6
Parr            24   3-4   0-1   0-2  0  2    9
Waugh           25   3-7   2-3   0-5  3  0   11
Kreager         11   1-1   0-1   0-0  2  1    2
Yukes            1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  1    0
Hall            15   0-0   2-2   0-2  0  2    2
Bell            12   2-4   0-0   2-4  2  0    5
Sarajlija        1   0-0   0-0   0-0  0  0    0
Lowry            4   0-0   0-0   2-2  0  0    0
_______________________________________________
TOTALS         200 22-47 22-28  5-35 18  9   80
_______________________________________________


Percentages: FG-.468, FT-.786. 3-Point Goals:
14-29, .483 (Levandusky 5-12, Piipari 2-6, Parr
3-3, Waugh 3-6, Bell 1-2). Team rebounds: 6.
Blocked shots: 1 (Tuukkanen). Turnovers: 20
(Phillips 4, Bell 3, Tuukkanen 3, Waugh 3,
Levandusky 2, Lowry 2, Hall, Parr, Piipari).
Steals: 7 (Levandusky 6, Bell).
__________________________________
Louisville         24   28  -   52
Xavier             43   37  -   80
__________________________________
Technical fouls: Louisville 1 (Nord).  A: 6,802.
Officials: John Weeks, Jeff Caudle, Cindy Knepp.


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