No. 7 Xavier 79, Richmond 57

BY foxsports • February 10, 2011

Ta'Shia Phillips and No. 7 Xavier made short work of Richmond.

Phillips had 21 points and 15 rebounds and the Musketeers opened the second half with a 20-2 en route to a 79-57 win over the Spiders on Wednesday night.

''She's just absolutely relentless and she was terrific tonight,'' Xavier coach Kevin McGuff said of Phillips, who did all her scoring within a few feet of the basket. She was 10 for 14 from the field, and set the tone in the second half with two power moves on Xavier's first two possessions.

Tyeasha Moss hit four 3-pointers and added 21 points for the Musketeers (20-2, 9-0 Atlantic 10), who won their 10th in a row since consecutive late-December losses against No. 5 Duke and No. 3 Stanford. Xavier also has won seven in a row against the Spiders.

''That's exactly what we want, inside out and outside in,'' Phillips said.

McGuff wasn't thrilled with how Xavier closed the game with the subs in.

''We've got to be able to play closer to 40 minutes than what we did tonight to be able to do the things that make us special,'' McGuff said, even in a blowout. ''It's hard, but if we want to be the team we're capable of being, we better start playing closer to 40 minutes.''

Richmond (15-9, 6-4), which scored the last five points of the first half to get within 36-27, missed its first 16 shots of the second half. Conference scoring leader Brittani Shells led Richmond with 24 points on 10 for 16 shooting; the rest of the team was 12 for 48.

Amber Harris added 13 points and 11 rebounds for the Musketeers. She scored her 2,000th career point on a 10-footer early in the second half.

The Musketeers had two 10-0 runs in the opening 8 1/2 minutes of the second half, with two free throws by Amber Nichols the only interruption as they stretched their lead to 56-29.

''The frustrating part is not just that (Shells) was hitting them and others were missing some easy ones, it's that we were giving them easy ones,'' Richmond coach Michael Shafer said, before comparing Phillips and Harris to NBA superstars Kevin Durant and Shaquille O'Neal.

''You know the great thing about them?'' Shafer added. ''They're seniors.''

By the midpoint of the second half, both coaches began substituting freely.

At one point, besides Shells, the rest of Richmond's roster was 4 for 35 from the field, a percentage that climbed appreciably when Ryann Dannelly made their first field goal of the second half with 11:22 to play.

The Musketeers used a 15-4 run late in the first half to open their biggest lead at 36-22 with just over 2 minutes to play. It came after Richmond had closed to within 21-18.

Five points by Shells to close to half made it 36-27. The senior had 17 by halftime, but did not start the second half and played sparingly when the game quickly got out of hand.

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