March 17, 2008
Sunday's Game Notes
CINCINNATI - The Xavier women's basketball team will be making its second-straight trip to the NCAA Tournament as the Musketeers earned a No. 9 seed in the Spokane Regional. The Musketeers, who will play No. 8 Nebraska (20-11, 9-7 Big 12) on Sunday, March 23, earned the Atlantic 10 Championship title after defeating Temple last Monday night and garnered the league's automatic bid into the NCAA tournament. XU is currently 24-8 overall and finished 11-3 in conference play.
The contest will be televised nationally on ESPNU and will also be available locally on ESPN2.
This marks the seventh NCAA appearance all-time for Xavier and the 10th time in the last 11 seasons that the Musketeers have reached national postseason play. The program currently carries a 4-6 record all time in the tournament and the last trip was made by last year's squad, which received a No. 6 seed in the Fresno Regional. XU fell 65-52 to No. 11 seed West Virginia in Austin, Texas in first round action of the 2007 NCAA Championship.
Xavier has never played against Nebraska and the Musketeers are 1-1 against teams playing in the Big 12 Conference.
XU's last win in the NCAA Tournament came in 2001 when the Musketeers made a run to the Elite Eight. As the No. 4 seed, Xavier would take out No. 13 Louisville in the first round, No. 5 Clemson in the second round and No. 1 Tennessee in the Regional Semifinal before falling to No. 3 Purdue in the Regional Final in Birmingham, Ala.
XU won its second-consecutive Atlantic 10 Championship last week after losing four starters and the league's sixth player of the year off last year's team. Sophomore Amber Harris repeated as a member of the First Team while Ta'Shia Phillips was the league's Rookie of Year and also earned mention as the Championship's Most Outstanding Player.
For ticket information, please call the Xavier Ticket Office at (513) 745-3411 ext. 7 starting Tuesday morning at 9 a.m.
Please continue to check back for the latest updates on XU's trip to the NCAA Tournament right here on GOXAVIER.com.
NCAA Selection Monday Quotes
Head Coach Kevin McGuff
reaction to seeing Xavier pop up on TV
"We knew we were in since we won the A-10 Tournament so the anxiety level obviously wasn't that high. But I am thrilled to be in the Tournament and I am really happy for our players because they have worked hard all year for this and I know they are very excited to be playing in this tournament."
"They are a very good team that comes from a great conference. We know they are battle tested after playing against teams like Texas A&M, Baylor and Oklahoma so we are going to have to be ready to play."
Freshman center Ta'Shia Phillips
on being in the tournament
"This is great. The whole team is really excited to be a part of this tournament. We have worked really hard all year to get to this point and we have to continue to work hard or it's over."
On being the focal point of opponents' defense
"I don't really think about it in those terms. If teams decide to double-team the post it is my responsibility to get a quick shot up or to kick it out to an open shooter."
On making the Tournament as a freshman
"It's great to make it on my first go around. I think it would be a missed opportunity not take advantage of every year here at Xavier. We are a young team but we are ready to play in the NCAA's."
Junior guard Jerri Taylor
on being a veteran on a young team
"I like the added responsibility of being a leader. We are a young team but we have grown up a lot this season because so many freshmen and sophomores have gotten the opportunity to play a lot of minutes."
On any lessons learned from last year's early exit
"Last year we were just flat for some reason. We can't let that happen again especially against a good team like Nebraska."