Jan. 23, 2009
Saturday's Game Notes
CINCINNATI – The No. 21 Xavier University women’s basketball team will put its seven-game winning streak on the line when the Musketeers take on Rhode Island on Saturday, January 24. Game time is set for 6 p.m. at Cintas Center. XU comes into the contest with a 16-4 record and a 4-0 mark in Atlantic 10 play. URI enters the game at 8-10, 1-2.
McGuff Eclipses All-Time Wins Mark
McGuff Moves Up A-10 Charts
Head coach Kevin McGuff became XU’s all-time winningest coach when his team defeated Kentucky by a 67-44 count on December 2. McGuff’s record at Xavier now stands at 146-63 and his .699 winning percentage is the highest in XU history. Melanie Balcomb, the current head coach at Vanderbilt and previous record holder at XU, eclipsed Mark Ehlen’s all-time mark in her first try as did McGuff. It took Balcomb 212 games to reach 135 wins ... McGuff won his 135th game in his 196th game. McGuff is the first coach to lead XU to the postseason in each of their first six seasons.
Head coach Kevin McGuff is bolting up a couple of lists after leading XU to an 11-3 conference record last season. McGuff is in eighth place on the all-time Atlantic 10 winning percentage list (regular season games only). McGuff has a record of 69-27 in A-10 regular season games since the 2002-03 season for a winning percentage of .719, which is the best among active coaches. McGuff now sits in 10th place, in just his seventh season, on the A-10 wins list (regular season games only) with 69.
Xavier Begins Season Ranked by AP
The Musketeers began the season ranked in the Associated Press Poll for the first time in school history. XU checked in ranked No. 22 in the country. Xavier remained in the AP Top 25 for the first three weeks of the season but fell out after losing to Cincinnati on 12/7 and are currently receiving the 30th-most votes in the country. The Musketeers have now been ranked for 22 weeks in their history. Prior to this season, the last time XU was ranked was the week of March 12, 2001; the final poll of the 2000-01 season. Xavier is 35-7 all-time as a ranked team and has reached as high as No. 12 in the AP Poll. XU is currently ranked No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and is receiving votes in the AP Poll.
The Series vs. Rhode Island
Xavier is 12-5 all-time against the Rams and the Musketeers have won 12 of the last 15 games in the series. XU’s last loss came on January 8, 2006, a 68-66 setback in Kingston, R.I. after URI’s Safi Mojidi buried a running 30-footer at the buzzer. XU is 4-1 vs. the Rams at home and 3-0 at Cintas Center. XU’s margin of victory in those three wins is a convincing 30.7 ppg.
XU Finishes Spotless 4-0 vs. SEC
Xavier finished the 2008-09 regular season with a perfect 4-0 record against teams playing in the Southeastern Conference. XU won by a 57-48 count at LSU on November 26 and defeated Kentucky by a 67-44 score at Cintas Center on December 2. XU took home two more road wins with wins at Georgia (56-44 on 12/30) and at Mississippi State (51-42 on 1/4). SEC teams shot 27.3 percent (13.0 percent from long-range) against the XU defense and Xavier out-rebounded SEC teams by 6.5 boards per game.
Best 20-Game Start Under McGuff
Xavier finished the first 20 games of the 2008-09 season with a 16-4 record, which was the team’s best 20-game start since the 2000-01 team went 18-2. Under Kevin McGuff, XU has gone 14-6 in its first 20-games in each season except the 2003-04 campaign, which saw Xavier get off to a 13-7 start.
XU Hopes to Threaten Best A-10 Start
The Musketeers are 4-0 in the Atlantic 10 for the first time since the 2004-05 team started the A-10 season with seven straight wins. That 7-0 start marked the best start XU had ever enjoyed in A-10 play and this year’s team has already posted the second best start all-time.
Xavier’s Best Starts in A-10 Play
Year Start Finish
2004-05 7-0 13-3
2008-09 4-0 --
1998-99 3-0 11-5
1997-98 3-0 11-5
1995-96 3-0 7-9
2006-07 2-0 11-3
XU All Over the Glass vs. Duquesne
The Musketeers out-rebounded Duquesne by an eye-popping 60-to-23 (+37) margin in XU’s 82-45 victory vs. the Dukes on January 14. The +37 rebounding margin set a new school record. The previous record was also established this season, a +29 margin against Akron on December 5. Duquesne entered the game with a respectable +1.0 rebound margin.
On the Rebound
The Musketeers have been one of the top rebounding clubs in the Atlantic 10 since Kevin McGuff’s arrival prior to the 2002-03 season. XU has never finished worse than fourth in rebounding margin since the 2002-03 season and led the league in rebounding margin during the 2003-04 (+5.2), 2004-05 (+4.1) and 2007-08 (+8.6) seasons. This year, Xavier is also leading the league with a +11.2 rebounding margin. The Musketeers are eighth in the country in rebounding margin. Last year, Xavier was seventh in the nation with a +8.6 rebounding margin.
Avoiding the Big 50
The Musketeers have been especially tough for opponents to score on this year as XU has held the opposition under 50 points a record 12 times this year. XU is first in the A-10 and fifth in the country with a scoring defense of 52.5 points per game. The previous record for holding opponents under 50 points was established during the 2007-08 season when the team turned the trick seven times. Amazingly, from 1982-2002, XU held its opponents under 50 points only 15 times. Since Kevin McGuff took over for the 2002-03 season, XU has held opponents below 50 points 40 times.
The Musketeers are rated No. 18 in the latest calculation of the Ratings Percentage Index (RPI) according to collegerpi.com. UMass is rated 200th in the RPI.
Field Goal Pct. Defense = Hat Rack
Since Kevin McGuff became head coach XU has clearly made a point to be a great rebounding team. However, Xavier has also hung its hat on holding the opposition to a low field goal percentage. Since the 2005-06 season, Xavier has held its opponents under 40.0 percent shooting each year. This season, XU leads the A-10 and the country with field goal percentage defense of 31.7.
**The NCAA record for single-season field goal percentage defense is 31.5 percent, established by UConn during the 1995-96 season.**
Season FG% Def. A-10 Rank
2008-09 31.7 1st
2007-08 35.2 1st
2006-07 36.5 2nd
2005-06 39.9 8th
**Additionally, Xavier has held all but two opponents under their season field goal shooting average.**
Ta’Shia Reaches 600
Sophomore star Ta’Shia Phillips has accumulated 607 rebounds and she hauled in her 500th against Davidson on December 19. Phillips reached 500 career rebounds in 45 games, which is faster than any Musketeer in team history. Amber Harris was the previous record holder, reaching 500 boards in 56 games.
XU’s All-Time Reb. Leaders
Player Years Rebs./Avg.
Tara Boothe 2002-06 1004/8.2
Lynn Bihn 1991-95 968/8.8
Taru Tauukkanen 1997-01 823/6.7
Judy Smith 1980-84 760/6.7
Julie Campbell 1987-91 677/6.3
Kristy Wallner 2002-06 636/5.2
Stacey Land 1981-85 624/5.5
Ta’Shia Phillips 2007-pres. 607/11.5
Amber Harris 2006-pres. 598/8.9
Taylor and Jennings Go Off vs. MSU
The backcourt duo of Jerri Taylor and Special Jennings combined to score 43 points on 15-of-27 (.556) shooting, including a scintillating 9-of-12 (.750) from beyond the 3-point arc vs. Michigan State on December 14. Jennings’ 18 points marked a career high and Taylor’s five assists matched her career best.
Can Jerri Get to 1,000?
Senior guard Jerri Taylor enters today’s game with 822 career points, 178 shy of 1,000. Assuming the Musketeers have 13 games left this season, Taylor would need to average 13.7 points per game to reach 1,000.