Women's Basketball Preview: Friday, December 5 vs. Akron

Tudy Reed and April Phillips are set to take on Akron Friday.

Tudy Reed and April Phillips are set to take on Akron Friday.

Dec. 4, 2008

Friday's Game Notes

CINCINNATI – The No. 23/21 Xavier University women’s basketball team is set to square-off against intrastate rival Akron on Friday, December 5.  Game time is set for 7 p.m. at Cintas Center.  XU comes into Friday’s contest with a 6-2 record while the Zips stand at 2-4. 

McGuff Becomes All-Time Wins Leader
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 136-61 and his .690 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.



McGuff Moves Up A-10 Charts
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 ninth place on the all-time Atlantic 10 winning percentage list (regular season games only).  McGuff has a record of 65-27 in A-10 regular season games since the 2002-03 season for a winning percentage of .707, which is the best among active coaches.  McGuff now sits in a tie for 11th place, after just six seasons, on the A-10 wins list (regular season games only) with 65.

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.  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 34-6 all-time as a ranked team and has reached as high as No. 12 in the AP Poll.  XU is currently ranked No. 23 in the AP Poll. 

The Series vs. Akron

Xavier is 5-7 all-time against Akron but the team has won the last three decisions vs. the Zips.  Akron was 7-2 vs. XU from 1979 -1986 before the series went on a hiatus until 2000.  XU is 3-0 vs. Akron since then, including a 70-54 victory at Akron on December 18, 2007. 

Taylor Snaps Out of it Against UK
Senior guard Jerri Taylor came into XU’s December 2 struggling but woke up vs. the Cats, scoring a game-high 18 points on 7-of-11 shooting and 4-of-7 shooting from deep.  Over her previous four games, Taylor had averaged just 9.3 points while shooting only 31.3 percent, including 14.8 percent (4-of-27) from deep. 


Kentucky Struggles Again vs. XU

Xavier is 6-1 all-time vs. Kentucky but the Musketeers have really had the ‘Cats number of late.  XU held Kentucky to just 21.0 percent shooting and 44 points during the contest on December 2.  On New Year’s Day 2008, XU held UK to just 11.1 percent (3-for-27) shooting in the second half and downed the Wildcats by a 51-46 count.  


Jernigan Sparks Comeback at LSU
Junior guard Dee Dee Jernigan took the game over late for XU and propelled the Musketeers to a big 57-48 win at LSU on November 26.  LSU, a team that has been to the last five NCAA Final Fours, had no answer for Jernigan in the final 5:10 of the contest.  She scored eight of her career-high 15 in that span and connected on a huge 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining in the game to give XU a commanding 50-42 lead.  Jernigan also snared eight boards against the Lady Tigers.

Phillips Snares 25 Boards at UNC
Sophomore standout Ta’Shia Phillips scored 23 points and hauled in 25 rebounds in Xavier’s 73-67 loss at No. 4 North Carolina on November 19.  The 25 boards marked a new school record and also established a new record for most rebounds by an opponent playing against UNC.  Furthermore, Phillips tied the Dean Smith Center’s record for rebounding by any player in the history of the building.  Sean May also pulled down 25 boards in a game against Duke during the 2004-05 season.

Three Musketeers Earn Preseason Recognition; XU Favored to 3-Peat
Amber Harris, Ta’Shia Phillips and Jerri Taylor each earned preseason accolades from the Atlantic 10 Conference.  Harris and Phillips were each named to the Preseason All-Atlantic 10 First Team while Taylor earned mention on the Third Team.  Additionally, Xavier was selected to win the Atlantic 10 Conference after receiving 15 of 16 first-place votes in a poll conducted by the league coaches and media.  

XU vs. the Power Conferences
Xavier is 30-30 all-time vs. teams from the ACC, BIG EAST, Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-10.  XU tied a school record by playing nine teams from BCS conferences in 2007-08.  XU is 20-18 vs. BCS schools since Kevin McGuff was named head coach prior to the 2002-03 season and finished the 2007-08 regular season at 4-5 vs. the power conferences.  Xavier is 3-2 vs. the BCS Conferences this season.