Jacks ousted by No. 5 Xavier
CINCINNATI, Ohio - Fifth-ranked Xavier's frontcourt tandem of Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris combined for 43 points and 27 rebounds to lead the Musketeers to a 72-56 victory over South Dakota State in the opening round of the NCAA Women's Basketball Tournament Sunday afternoon at the Cintas Center.
Xavier, 29-2 overall and seeded second in the Spokane Region, will face Louisville (Ky.) in second-round action Tuesday night. The Jackrabbits, making their third consecutive tournament appearance, end their season with a 19-14 overall record.
Xavier led nearly the entire way, although SDSU hung tough with the much-taller Musketeers throughout the opening half. A three-pointer by Jill Young gave the Jackrabbits their only lead of the game at 6-5 three and a half minutes into the game.
Phillips, a 6-foot-6 center, scored the first eight points and Harris scored the final four points of a 12-0 Xavier run. SDSU came back with an 8-0 run of their own to pull to within 17-14 on a deep three-pointer by Young.
SDSU trimmed the margin to one, 22-21, on a basket by Ashley Eide with 8 minutes and 34 seconds remaining in the half. The two teams continued to counter each other until Xavier closed the opening half with a 7-0 spurt to lead 39-30 at the break.
Tyesha Moss scored the first five points of the second half as Xavier took a double-digit lead for the first time and added a three-pointer from the left wing to push the Musketeer advantage to 20 points, 57-37 with 13:01 to play in the game.
SDSU could get no closer than the final margin of 16 points the rest of the way. Phillips posted game-highs of 27 points and 15 rebounds, while Harris added 16 points and 12 boards for the Musketeers, who held a 45-26 advantage on the boards, including a 16-4 edge on the offensive end.
Xavier made 25-of-59 attempts, 42.4 percent, including 3-of-12 from behind the arc. Moss finished with 13 points, with Special Jennings adding 10.
One positive for the Jackrabbits was the production they received from their bench. SDSU reserves outscored their counterparts, 22-3, led by a team-high 10 points from Eide. Young scored nine points on 3-of-7 shooting from three-point range. Senior Kristin Rotert added a three-pointer en route to seven points as she tied the SDSU career three-point record of 250 previously set by Brenda Davis from 2001-04.
As a team, the Jackrabbits finished the game 18-of-51 from the field, 35.3 percent, including 5-of-18 from three-point range. At the line, SDSU converted 15-of-18 attempts, 83.3 percent. Katie Lingle led the Jackrabbits with five rebounds.
NOTES: Sunday's meeting was the first between SDSU and Xavier ... the Jackrabbits dropped to 1-2 against Atlantic 10 Conference opponents since moving to Division I at the start of the 2004-05 season ... SDSU fell to 1-3 in NCAA Tournament games at the D-I level, losing all three to ranked opponents ... the Jackrabbits dropped to 2-11 against ranked D-I opponents ... Rotert finished her career eighth on the all-time SDSU scoring list with 1,484 points ... Young, a junior, upped her career three-point total to 222 and finished fourth on the single-season three-point charts with 78 ... Sunday's game was SDSU's 200th against a Division I opponent; the Jackrabbits are 143-57 (.715 winning percentage) in the D-I era ... attendance was 4,003