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.