Women's Basketball Celebrates New Year Early With Win

CINCINNATI --- Tara Boothe led Xavier with 24 points and 10 rebounds as the Musketeers held off St. Francis (Pa.) 70-64 on Wednesday at Cintas Center.

Boothe connected on 10 of her 12 shots from the field for her seventh 20-point performance of the year. Her double-double was the 13th of her career.

Xavier ends the non-conference season with an 8-3 record for the second year in a row. The Musketeers open Atlantic 10 play on Saturday when George Washington comes to Cintas Center.

Adeola Olanrewaju and Miranda Green each had 10 points for Xavier. Olanrewaju had nine rebounds while Green had a team-high six assists.

Nikki Wells and Mandy Geryak came off the bench and added eight and seven points respectively. Wells had seven rebounds as well.

The teams exchanged the lead eight times in the early going before playing to the seventh tie of the contest at 20-all with 8:43 left in the first half.

XU used a 7-2 run to open up a 27-22 lead, and had another five-point advantage at 31-26 with 4:18 left in the half.

The Red Flash dominated the closing minutes of the half, out-scoring Xavier 7-2 to force a 33-33 tie at the break.

St. Francis continued to control the game early in the second half, scoring the first five points of the period.

It was 45-42 in favor of the Red Flash when Xavier launched a 12-2 run to take a 54-47 lead with a little less than 10 minutes remaining.

Xavier eventually got the lead to 10 at 66-56, but a St. Francis bucket and three cut that advantage in half, making it 66-61 with two minutes remaining.

Another St. Francis three cut the lead to two with 39 seconds remaining. A Wells jumper and a pair of Green free throws sealed the game for the Musketeers.

Beth Swink led the Red Flash (5-4) with 22 points and nine rebounds. Sarah Bolten, a graduate of Cincinnati’s Glen Este High School, added 16 points and Karen Hewitt, a graduate of Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy, ended with 13.

Xavier will return to action on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with the Atlantic 10 Conference opener against George Washington at Cintas Center. Last year, the Musketeers beat the Colonials 94-92 in quadruple overtime at Xavier.