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Archive for Friday, November 27, 2009

Musketeers hand KU women first loss

November 27, 2009, 12:00 a.m. Updated November 27, 2009, 1:21 p.m.

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KU vs. Xavier box score ( .RTF )

— The Xavier Musketeers are glad to have Amber Harris back from the knee injury that sidelined her last season.

Harris scored 22 points to help No. 9 Xavier edge 18th-ranked Kansas, 76-71, on Thursday at the Junkanoo Jam.

“She gets better each week and is such a unique player,” Xavier coach Kevin McGuff said. “Obviously we are a much better team with her than without her.”

Danielle McCray scored 18 of her 23 points in the second half to lead Kansas (3-1).

Xavier (4-0) led 72-67 with 50 seconds left. Kansas then hit four straight from the foul line to make it 72-71 with 27 seconds remaining. The Musketeers restored the lead to three after Harris hit two more free throws. Kansas had a chance to tie, but McCray’s three-pointer with 10 seconds left missed.

Special Jennings, who finished with 17 points, sealed the win from the foul line.

“This is a great win for us,” McGuff said. “Kansas has an excellent basketball team, and I am really proud of our team’s resilience down the stretch. We showed a lot of heart and a lot of character.”

Trailing by five late in the first half, Xavier rallied to take a 38-37 lead at the break. The Musketeers extended the advantage to 52-42 as they started the second half with a 14-5 spurt.

“We fought hard until the final buzzer, but we can’t play poorly to close the first half and open the second half and expect to win against a great team like Xavier,” Kansas coach Bonnie Henrickson said.

Kansas rallied behind McCray, who scored 12 straight points for the Jayhawks to cut the deficit to 68-66 with 3:20 left.

“Danielle (McCray) knocked down some great shots and we did a good job of getting some deflections and forcing some turnovers on the other end,” Henrickson said. “We just couldn’t quite get over the hump.”

Ta’Shia Phillips added 12 points and 11 rebounds for Xavier.

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