No. 4 Xavier blows by Mississippi St.
Harris, Phillips move up Musketeers' scoring chart
Courtesy Xavier Athletics
CINCINNATI - The fourth-ranked Xavier Musketeers improved to 10-0 on the season with a 61-36 victory against Mississippi State on Friday night. On a night dominated by Xavier defense, senior forward Amber Harris and senior center Ta'Shia Phillips provided all the offense Xavier would need, and in the process continued to move up the school's career charts.
Harris scored her first basket of the game and 1,786th career point on a fast-break lay-up at the 10:00 minute mark of the first half to pass Taru Tuukkanen for third on Xavier's all-time scoring list. Harris finished with a game-high 22 points, while ending the game with 13 rebounds, giving her 999 boards for her career. She now trails only current teammate Phillips and Xavier great Tara Boothe for third on the career rebounds chart.
Phillips joined Harris among top 10 all-time scorers with a lay-in at the 3:39 mark of the first half, passing Suntana Granderson for 10th. Phillips kept it going as, with 1:36 remaining in the half, she sank a free throw to score her 1,524th point to pass former Xavier standout and current assistant coach Amy Waugh for ninth on the all-time scoring list. Phillips finished the game with 13 points and 15 rebounds.
The Musketeers pulled away in the second half, extending the lead to 25 points, the final margin of victory, with 43 seconds remaining.
The Musketeers shot 26-of-58 (44.8 percent) from the field and held Mississippi State to 22.0 percent shooting (13-of-59). The 36 points given up by the Musketeers marked the lowest point total allowed of the season. Xavier out-rebounded the Lady Bulldogs 48-36.
Xavier held a 29-19 lead at the end of the first stanza. Phillips led the Musketeers with 11 points and 10 rebounds and Harris added nine points and nine rebounds before halftime.
After Harris made a lay-in at the 10:00 minute mark off of a Mississippi State turnover, Xavier led 13-4. Senior Megan Askew followed Harris with a floater before Mississippi State countered with a 7-2 run and cut its deficit to six. However, back-to-back baskets by Phillips and Harris pushed the lead back to double digits, where it would remain the rest of the half.
Sophomore Katie Rutan saw 12 minutes of action in her first game back for the Musketeers after nursing an ankle injury. Rutan last played on Nov. 23 in the victory of Louisville.
The Lady Bulldogs were led by Mary Kathryn Govero with 16 points. Ashley Brown grabbed nine rebounds as Mississippi State fell to 6-3 on the season.