No. 9 Xavier beats Mississippi Valley St. 92-52Nov 24, 2009 - 2:51 AM By JOE KAY AP Sports Writer
CINCINNATI(AP) -- So, Katie Rutan - packed yet?
"No," the Xavier freshman said, after a 92-52 win over Mississippi Valley State on Monday night. "Uh-uh. I haven't started."
What about Ta'Shia Phillips - going to get any sleep before that early bus ride?
"I don't plan on it," the junior center said.
With all that packing to do, the ninth-ranked Musketeers played like a team that wanted to get it over fast and get some rest. Rutan scored a career-high 17 points, and Xavier (3-0) substituted liberally on its way to its highest point total in two years.
Then, it was time to get out the bags and get ready for a 5 a.m. bus trip to the airport on Tuesday for a flight to the Bahamas. The Musketeers will play No. 18 Kansas in a tournament there on Thursday.
What about coach Kevin McGuff? Ready to go?
"I'm a last-minute packer," he said. "I'll go home tonight and throw some stuff in the bag and wake up at 4:30 and get on the bus."
McGuff's biggest concern against the overmatched Devilettes (1-1) was whether his team would mentally pack it in a day early. No chance of that. Xavier pulled ahead 35-9, giving McGuff a chance to use all of his bench and work on some new combinations on the floor.
"I talked to them about that," McGuff said. "What I conveyed to them is whether we're playing Arizona State or Mississippi Valley State, it's about us. If you're going to start picking and choosing who you think is good and who's not, that's going to really catch up to you at some point.
"I think we did a good job handling that, especially the way we started the game. We had the right amount of intensity and concentration."
Xavier opened the season with an overtime win at Southern California and a 13-point victory over then-No. 14 Arizona State before running away from the Devilettes, who were led by Ashley Brown's 15 points.
Rutan, a long-range shooter, has been settling into an offense that has a lot of options with Phillips and Amber Harris able to score inside. The freshman from Pennsylvania has had career highs in each of the last two games, and went 5 of 10 from behind the arc on Monday night.
"I'm pretty settled in," Rutan said. "I'm getting used to the offense and my role on the team."
Her role is to let it fly, giving the Musketeers two outside options. Sophomore Tyeasha Moss went 4 of 6 from behind the arc for 14 points.
"She's brought us another offensive threat," Phillips said of the freshman. "It's helpful when you have so many shooters. Rutan's a great shooter, Moss is a great shooter. It's easier when you get double-teamed in the post. Now you have someone you can throw it out to and they're going to hit almost every time."
- No. 23 DePaul women beat Xavier 82-52 Feb 12
- No. 8 Mississippi State beats Mississippi Valley 109-37 Nov 24
- Louisville advances to Sweet 16 Mar 23
- South Dakota State no match for Xavier Mar 20
- Phillips helps Xavier claim A-10 title Mar 7
- Xavier advances to A-10 title game Mar 6
- Strong second half powers Xavier past St. Joe's Mar 5
- Harris helps Xavier edge Temple, clinch A-10 Feb 27
- No. 6 Xavier dominates George Washington Feb 23
- Phillips, Xavier push win streak to 13 games Feb 20
- No. 6 Xavier rolls past Saint Louis Feb 16
- No. 7 Xavier dominates Fordham Feb 12