No. 5 Xavier 72, Delaware St. 41
A little sloppy. A little tired. Playing its second game in 24
hours, No. 5 Xavier had to get through that blah feeling to get
A little bit of Amber Harris was quite enough.
Harris scored 23 points in only 24 minutes on Saturday, and the
Musketeers eased their way to their second straight lopsided win,
72-41 over Delaware State.
Xavier (5-0) won for the third time in five days. The Musketeers
were coming off a 99-37 win over Troy on Friday afternoon, their
most lopsided victory in 28 years. They looked a little off when
they took the court, missing easy shots at the outset.
”It’s just about having energy, being ready to play
back-to-back,” Harris said.
Coach Kevin McGuff doesn’t accept the two-games-in-two-days
excuse for sloppiness.
”And I don’t ever want my team to think that’s OK,” McGuff
said. ”Our job is to show up and be ready when it’s tipped, to
have the right intensity and focus.
”Once we started playing with more intensity, we kind of
imposed our will on them and got the game going the way we
The Musketeers played both games without top 3-point shooter
Katie Rutan, resting a sore left ankle. She’s expected back next
week. Xavier plays at home against Mississippi Valley State on
Tuesday and against Southern California on Thursday.
”We could give her a little more rest, but I think she’ll play
this coming week,” McGuff said.
Xavier’s front-line duo dominated again. Center Ta’Shia Phillips
had a career-high 29 points and 18 rebounds against Troy. Harris
led the way against Delaware State (1-3), scoring 19 points in the
”They’re special players,” McGuff said. ”They play incredibly
well together, and that’s what they’re supposed to do. They’re as
good as anybody in the country. We need them to be able to do that
on a daily basis.”
Junior guard Tyeasha Moss had nine points and seven assists,
working in an offense that made the extra pass and finished with 21
assists. Xavier’s backcourt is deeper this season and taking
advantage when defenses clamp down inside on Harris and
”We have a little bit of everything,” Moss said of the guards.
”We have great shooters, great dribblers, great defenders. We have
everything we need. We just mesh together.”
Xavier opened the season with three challenging games – at South
Carolina and Michigan, followed by Louisville at home last Tuesday.
McGuff didn’t get to use his newcomers very much, but gave them
plenty of playing time the last two days.
Against Troy, the Musketeers opened with a 24-0 run and didn’t
let up, leading 56-13 at halftime. Playing less than 24 hours
later, they were a little ragged after pulling ahead of Delaware
State 24-9. The Musketeers led 37-17 at the half.
Xavier was at its best to open the second half. Phillips and
Harris alternated baskets, Moss hit a 3 and point guard Special
Jennings knocked the ball loose and drove for a layup that
completed an 11-0 run. Xavier soon rested its starters.