No. 4 Xavier advances to face Clemson
Updated: Saturday March 17, 2001 12:11 AM
CINCINNATI (AP) -- Nicole Levandusky and Reetta Piipari started a 24-2 run with a pair of 3-pointers as Xavier took control early and ran away from Louisville 80-52 on Friday night in the first round of the Mideast Regional.
Fourth-seeded Xavier (29-2), which has a 19-game winning streak, will play Clemson, a 51-49 winner over Tennessee-Chattanooga, in Sunday's second round.
Louisville (19-10) led 5-0 until Levanduskey's 3-pointer at 18:13, the first of three 3-pointers by Levandusky during the run.
"They were really packing it in on the post with their zone," Levandusky said. "We had the outside shots. They weren't all dropping, but they were good shots, so we had to keep shooting."
Xavier was 14-of-29 from long range, two short of the tournament record 16 by Harvard in 1996.
"I think the biggest thing in March is you have to play defense and you have to rebound," said Xavier coach Melanie Balcomb. "Everybody talks about our offense and they'll be talking about the 3's, but I thought the way we played defense in the first half set the tone."
Xavier stayed perfect at the Cintas Center. Xavier has won all 14 of its games in the new campus arena, which opened this season.
"There's a reason Xavier's rated where they are (No.12)," said Louisville coach Martin Clapp. "We had to make a decision between going with a zone, which we've played most of the year, knowing their perimeter game is good. We had to hope that they missed, and they didn't.
"We didn't play our best game, but they're talented."
Xavier led 43-24 at halftime behind nearly perfect shooting by Jennifer Phillips, who scored 16 of her 20 points in the first half, when she was 3-of-3 from the field and 10-of-11 at the line.
Levandusky finished with 18 points, 11 in the first half, and Amy Waugh had 11 for Xavier.
Sara Nord scored 22 for Louisville, and Carol Brown had 12.
Nord said the turnaround, after the Cardinals' quick start, shocked her.
"When it was 5-0, I was pumped," Nord said. "Then we got to seven and didn't score for like seven minutes and I was like, 'What are we doing?''
Xavier and Louisville had met only once before, when Louisville
beat Xavier 69-29 in 1976.