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Women's basketball prepares for Crosstown Shootout

Annual battle against UC on Saturday, while men take on Eastern Kentucky on Saturday

12/27/02

For the fourth time in five years, the Xavier women's basketball team has opened its season by winning seven of its first eight games, and it looks to improve on that mark on Saturday when it takes on the University of Cincinnati in the women's version of the Crosstown Shootout. The game is at 1:30 p.m. at UC's Shoemaker Center and can be heard on the Xavier athletics web site. The Shootout pits two nationally ranked teams, as the 7-1 Musketeers are ranked No. 25 by womenscollegehoops.com, and the 7-2 Bearcats are ranked No. 42. This is the 25th meeting between the two teams, with Cincinnati holding an 18-6 edge in the series, including the last six straight. Xavier’s last win at Cincinnati was an 81-48 victory on Feb. 23, 1993. Two of the last four games, though, have gone into overtime. Xavier has had a week to prepare for the game after its win over Pittsburgh on Saturday, Dec. 21. UC is coming off a win of the Bearcat Invitational, which included wins over Bowling Green and Louisiana-Lafayette. The Bearcats have now won three straight games and 14 in row at the Shoemaker Center. Valerie King leads UC with 19.6 points per game and Debbie Merrill is averaging 18.8 per outing. K.B Sharp and Carolyn Alexander also average double digits in scoring. Xavier has three players averaging in double figures: Senior guard Reetta Piipari, who also became Xavier’s career assist leader during the Musketeer’s win over Pittsburgh, with 14.6 points per game; senior guard Amy Waugh, who averages 18.5 points per game; and freshman forward Tara Boothe , a graduate of Highlands High School in Northern Kentucky who has won back-to-back rookie of the week honors from the Atlantic 10, with 15 points per game. Booth was featured in recent articles in the Cincinnati Enquirer and Cincinnati Post. The 20th-ranked men's basketball team, meanwhile, also looks to improve on its 7-2 record when it hosts Eastern Kentucky University Saturday, Dec. 28 at the Cintas Center at 7:30 p.m. The team is coming off a sluggish win over Sienna on Monday, Dec. 23.