Women's Basketball Falls To Xavier, 77-65
Jan. 24, 2003
CINCINNATI, Ohio. -- Xavier guards Reeta Piipari and Amy Waugh combined for 46 points as the Xavier women's basketball team (12-5, 4-2) defeated the University of Massachusetts (11-6, 3-3), 77-65, tonight in Atlantic 10 action before 2,142 at the Cintas Center.
The Minutewomen led by seven points at the 4:28 mark of the first half, but just one free throw the remainder of the half enabled Xavier to tie the game at the break.
A lay-up by senior Nekole Smith (Ann Arbor, Mich.) regained the lead for the Minutewomen to open up the second half, but that would be their final advantage. Xavier was took advantage of UMass foul trouble and built an 11-point lead at the 10:35 mark. UMass tried to mount a comeback late, but it fell short. Down by seven points at the 8:45 mark, senior Jen Butler (Brooklyn, N.Y.) hit a lay-up and was sent to the line for a chance at an old-fashioned three-point play. She missed the free throw, but a defensive stop gave UMass the ball back and an opportunity to make it a one possession game. They were unsuccessful and the Musketeers made a shot to go back up seven. UMass once again cut it back to five the next trip down the floor as senior Kristin Cannon (Reynoldsburg, Ohio) made a shot off a back-door pass, but once again Xavier scored on the other end.
For the next couple of minutes, the two teams exchanged baskets. A lay-up by senior Ebony Pegues (Columbus, Ohio) cut the lead back to five once again, but a 10-0 Musketeer run over the next 3:47 put the game away. Included in that flurry was a technical on Butler after she fouled out with 1:30 left.
Smith led the Minutewomen with 17 points, while Butler and Pegues each had 15. Butler had eight rebounds, seven of which came in the first half. It was just the third time this season that she did not post a double-double. Sophomore Katie Nelson (Ellicott City, Md.) had seven points and a career-high eight assists.
Reeta Piipari scored a game-high 28 points for Xavier, including 6-for-9 from three-point range. Amy Waugh, the conference's leading scorer, had 18, while Tara Boothe recorded 10 points and a game-high 13 rebounds.
Xavier shot .491 (27-55) from the field, while UMass shot at a .403 (25-62) clip. UMass was out-rebounded, 36-31, just the fifth time it has come up short on the boards. The Minutewomen did record 17 assists and committed just nine turnovers. Massachusetts was victimized by poor free throw shooting, converting just nine of 17 (.529).
Massachusetts continues its bi-annual Ohio road trip with a game at Dayton (10-7, 3-3) on Sunday, Jan. 26. Tip-off at the UD Arena is slated for 2:00 p.m.