CINCINNATI - Behind strong defensive play and Lowe's Senior CLASS and All-American candidate Ta'Shia Phillips' double-double, the No. 5/6 Xavier women's basketball team defeated Bellarmine University 90-46 in exhibition play Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center.
Phillips collected a game-high 23 rebounds and scored a game-high 19 points on 8-of-10 shooting from the floor. Fellow Lowe's Senior CLASS and All-American candidate Amber Harris posted 15 points. Sophomore sharp-shooter Katie Rutan added 14 points behind four three-pointers.
The Musketeers' stingy defense held Bellarmine to 26.1 percent (12-of-46) shooting and forced 24 Bellarmine turnovers. Xavier capitalized by scoring 27 points on the Bellarmine miscues.
XU used its considerable size-advantage over the Knights to score 50 points in the paint. Phillips, aided by senior Megan Askew's 10 rebounds, helped the Musketeers to a 62-26 edge on the boards and a 44-5 advantage in second-chance points.
Xavier had two double-digit runs in the first half that gave it a 37-15 lead at the break. Xavier opened the game with a 10-0 run that was started with Phillips' first basket of the night. Bellarmine hit two baskets to cut the lead to 19-10 at the 8:55 mark. However, the Musketeers responded by going on a 14-0 run over the next 5:42 of the half. Phillips highlighted the run with seven points.
The Knights of Bellarmine were unable to mount any charge in the second half. The Musketeers extended the lead to 47, the largest margin of the afternoon, with nine seconds left in the game. Xavier opens the 2010-11 regular season against South Carolina on Friday, Nov. 12. Tip-off is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m. inside of the Colonial Life Arena in Columbia, S.C.