March 6, 2010
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. -
A valiant second half effort by the Spiders fell short as top-seeded Xavier edged Richmond 61-52 Saturday afternoon in the Quarterfinal Round of the 2010 Atlantic 10 tournament.
After trailing 29-21 at the break the Spiders fell behind 33-23 at the 17:48 mark after an Amber Harris lay-up. Richmond the got two back-to-back jumpers from Brittani Shells and Abby Oliver to slash the deficit to 33-27.
Richmond then went on a 10-6 run jumpstarted by another Shells jumper to get the Spiders to within 41-39 with 10:54 remaining. The Spiders defense wore on the Musketeers as the next two minutes of play featured four Xavier turnovers.
A lay-up by Amber Harris at the 8:19 mark gave Xavier its first basket in more than four minutes and the basket proved to be the refocusing point the Musketeers needed. Xavier honed in on defense grabbing practically every rebound and dishing inside passes that resulted in easy lay-ups.
It was Harris again who came up big with an and-one conversion to put the Musketeers up 45-39 at the 6:07 mark. Shells answered with another jumper to cut the deficit to four, but again Harris and the Musketeers had an answer.
The score fluctuated between a four and seven point Xavier advantage until an April Phillips lay-up put Xavier up 52-43 with 2:36 left.
All-Conference first team selection Shells would not be silenced and drained a three to put her Spiders back within 53-46 with two minutes remaining.
But the Musketeers answered the call at the charity stripe, with Dee Dee Jernigan sinking 4 of her team's last six free-throws.
Xavier went 20-of-32 from the line, while the Spiders only saw the charity stripe 5-of-6 tries.
A-10 Player of the Year Harris finished with a team-high 15 points and 11 boards. Harris recorded six blocks, which was the third-highest total for an Atlantic 10 Tournament game.
Shells finished with a game-high 21 points, off 10-of-21 shooting. Oliver chipped in with 13, while Rachael Bilney added another clutch 11 tallies from the bench.
The Spiders will await their season's fate when the 2010 WNIT Tournament field is selected next weekend.