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Xavier claims A-10 crown

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Posted: Monday March 06, 2000 08:39 PM


PHILADELPHIA (AP) -- Nicole Levandusky had 19 points on 8-for-12 shooting from the field as Xavier grabbed its first-ever Atlantic 10 Conference title with a 80-66 win over No. 23 George Washington in the conference championship game on Monday.

Levandusky, who was named the tournament's most valuable player, had 14 of her points in the second half. Xavier, which hasn't won a conference title since 1993 when it took the Midwestern Collegiate Conference crown, was also represented on the all-tournament team by Taru Tuukkanen, who had eight points in the win.

Amy Waugh scored 14 points, Kim Hotz had 13 points and Jennifer Phillips added 13 points and a career-high 16 rebounds for the Musketeers, who finish the regular season by winning 15 of their last 16 and gain the conference's automatic bid. The Atlantic 10 should also be represented in the NCAA tournament by George Washington and St. Joseph's when tournament selections are announced on Sunday.

George Washington's Petra Dubovcova, who was also named to the all-tournament team, had 20 points and nine rebounds but got called for her fifth foul with 6:53 left. The ensuing free throws by Tuukkanen gave Xavier a 60-48 lead, their biggest of the game.

Marlo Egleston and Elisa Egleston each had 10 points for the Colonials (25-5), who are now 3-3 in conference championship games but have lost two in a row. The last time they took the A-10 crown was 1997. George Washington also had Kristeena Alexander on the all-tournament team.

The Musketeers trailed 45-41 with 13:48 left in the second half but then scored 21 of the next 24 to pull ahead by 15, 63-48, with 6:03 remaining. A three-pointer by Levandusky capped the spurt. The Colonials were unable to get closer than nine in the final minutes.

George Washington did lead by as many as five in the first half and held a three-point advantage at the break. Dubovcova had 13 of her points in the opening half.

Two St. Joseph's players, Susan Moran and Angela Zampella, rounded out the all-tournament team. Xavier beat the Hawks in overtime, 84-79, to avance to the championship game.

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