March 8, 2010
Box Score | Photo Gallery | Postgame Interview - Xavier | Postgame Interview - Temple
UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - Top-seeded Xavier jumped out to a big early lead then held on to survive a furious comeback effort by third-seeded Temple with a 57-55 win in overtime to claim the Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship at The Show Place Arena.
Xavier started the game on a 14-0 run and held the Owls scoreless for the first 6:11. The Musketeers led by 12 at halftime but Temple used tough defense and hot shooting to go on a 13-1 run to open the second half and even up the score at 33. The action went back and forth for the rest of the way, with Temple's Shaqwedia Wallace hitting two three pointers in the final 2:04 to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Temple struck first in the extra session to take their only lead of the game but a Special Jennings three pointer gave the advantage back to the Musketeers, and Amber Harris added a free throw to give them a two-point cushion. Temple had a chance to tie at the buzzer but couldn't convert, giving the championship and the Atlantic 10 Conference's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament to Xavier.
"That was a great game, and both teams played incredibly hard," Xavier head coach Kevin McGuff said. "I'm just really proud of our players for the resiliency they showed, especially down the stretch."
Wallace paced the Owls with 17 points, while Championship Most Outstanding Player Amber Harris poured in 23 points and seven rebounds for Xavier. Joining Harris on the All-Championship Team was teammate Ta'Shia Phillips, whose 21 rebounds in the final set a new Atlantic 10 Women's Basketball Championship game record. Rounding out the team were Dayton's Justine Raterman and Temple's LaKeisha Eaddy and Kristen McCarthy.
The Musketeers claimed their fifth Atlantic 10 Championship title overall and were just the second team in A-10 history to go undefeated during the regular season (14-0) and win the tournament crown.
The overtime was just the second time in tournament history that the final game went to OT.