Women's Basketball Preview: Sunday, December 7 at Cincinnati

April Phillips had her first career double-double on Friday.

April Phillips had her first career double-double on Friday.

Dec. 6, 2008

Sunday's Game Notes

CINCINNATI – The No. 21/23 Xavier University women’s basketball team will travel across town to take on Cincinnati on Sunday, December 7 at Fifth Third Arena.  Game time is set for 2 p.m. and will mark the third-annual “Sellout the Shootout” initiative.  UC comes into the contest with a 5-2 record while the Musketeers enter the game at 7-2 and have held their last five opponents under 50 points.

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 137-61 and his .692 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 35-6 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 and No. 21 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll. 

The Series vs. Cincinnati
Xavier is 9-21 all-time vs. the Bearcats as this marks the 31st consecutive year that XU and UC have squared off (since the 1978-79 season.)  The UC/XU series can best be characterized as streaky.  UC won the first 11 meetings and XU then answered by winning six out of the next seven meetings.  Cincinnati then rattled off eight straight wins prior to Xavier winning three of the last four contests.  Kevin McGuff is 3-3 vs. UC in his career.  XU lost, 61-55, on December 1, 2008 but the team won the previous three decisions by an average of 25 points.   


Musketeers Clean the Glass vs. Zips
The Musketeers pulled down a season-high 61 rebounds vs. Akron on December 5.  That total marked the highest rebounding output XU had put together since Kevin McGuff took over as head coach prior to the 2002-03 season.  The team was only one rebound shy of matching the school record of 62 boards, established at Marquette during the 1991-92 season. 


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.