Sunday, March 25, 2001

Phillips expects to play despite injury

By Mark Curnutte
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — Jennifer Phillips does not expect her knee injury to sideline her for Monday's game against Purdue.

Jennifer Phillips grimaces after hurting her knee.
(Craig Ruttle photo)
| ZOOM |
        “My knee is sore, and we're going to be careful with it,” Phillips said before leaving the arena Saturday. “But I'm planning on playing on Monday.”

        Phillips, the emotional leader and heart of the Musketeers (31-2), who upset Tennessee Saturday, was helped off the court with four minutes remaining. She had been tangled in a group of players going after a rebound.

        She returned to the game two minutes later wearing a wrap on the knee. Phillips, who scored 17 points and was the Musketeers' most effective post player against the bigger Lady Vols, had an MRI exam after the game. Results were not available Saturday.

        Xavier was leading 67-60 when Phillips was hurt, and the Musketeers had stretched their lead to 72-61 by the time she returned.

        “It's tough when any of our players go down no matter how much time is left on the clock or what game it is because we're a close team,” said senior guard Nicole Levandusky, who made her 109th consecutive start Sat urday alongside Phillips.

        “It was, "We need to pick it up. If you don't want to do it for yourselves, which everyone wanted to, do it for Phillips.' I mean, there was too much riding on this game, and every one did step it up.”

        The 6-foot-3 Phillips was Xavier's toughest inside player against Lady Vols' post players Ashley Robinson and Michelle Snow, who are 6-5. Phillips was 8-for-14 on field goals, most of them coming inside, and had five rebounds.

        “This is a big win for us,” Phillips said. “The biggest thing was that we got a really good team effort.”

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