Musketeers Advance To Atlantic 10 Tournament Finals With 69-53 Win Over Charlotte

Senior forward Amber Harris led all players with 23 points and 16 boards.

Senior forward Amber Harris led all players with 23 points and 16 boards.

March 6, 2011

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LOWELL, Mass. -- Seniors Ta'Shia Phillips and Amber Harris established a low-post presence early against the No. 5 seed Charlotte 49ers in the semifinals of the 2011 Atlantic 10 tournament Sunday afternoon as they lead No. 6/6 ranked and No. 1 seeded Xavier to a 69-53 victory. With the win, XU improved to 27-2 overall while Charlotte fell to 23-9 on the season.

Xavier outscored the Niners in the paint 34-18 on its way to the semifinal win. Harris led all scorers with 23 points on 9-of-16 from the field. She also led all players with 16 boards and, with Phillips, was one of two Musketeers to earn a double-double. Phillips' 22 points, combined with 11 boards, earned the senior center her 20th double-double of the season.

Junior Tyeasha Moss was the third Musketeer in double-digits with 11 points on 4-of-11 from the field.

Charlotte was led by Epiphany Woodson with 20 points on 7-of-18 from the field. The 49ers won the battle of the boards 55-41.

The Musketeers jumped out early in the second half as a jumper from senior Megan Askew at the 19:39 mark and a floater by Harris with 19:16 left in the game gave XU a 42-23 lead. Xavier took a 20-point (48-28) lead with 14:17 left in the game when Phillips hit a jumper in the paint.

The Niners wouldn't go down without a fight, though, as they prevented XU from hitting a field goal from the 7:51 mark in the second half to the 3:34 mark. During the XU drought Charlotte pulled to within 14 on two free throws from Woodson.

XU would not be denied as the Musketeers used strong free throw shooting to pull away in the waning minutes of the contest.

The Musketeers led 38-22 at the half thanks to 22 points in the paint in the first period. Phillips led the way for XU in the first 20 minutes with 16 of Xavier's low-post points in 8-of-12 shooting. Moss was second in points in the first period with 10 on 4-of-8 from the field.

Charlotte was led by Woodson with 11 first half points on a 3-of-5 performance from beyond the arc.

After falling behind 4-0 at the beginning of the game, the Musketeers came roaring back with a 13-0 run from the 19:02 mark to the 15:07 mark in the first frame. Phillips scored eight of XU's 13 points during the run.

The Musketeers will face the winner of the No. 2 seeded Temple Owls and the No. 6 seeded Dayton Flyers Monday at 5 p.m.