CINCINNATI – Amber Harris and Ta'Shia Phillips each had a double-double, and No. 5 Xavier extended the best start in its history, beating Mississippi State 61-36 on Friday night behind tight defense and its frontcourt duo.
The Musketeers (10-0) struggled to score from the perimeter against the Lady Bulldogs (6-3), who came in with one of the nation's top defenses, allowing 51.2 points per game. Harris took control midway through the first half and finished with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Phillips had 13 points and 15 rebounds.
Xavier got its top 3-point shooter back in a limited role. Katie Rutan missed the last six games with an injured left foot. She played a few minutes at a time and made her first try — a 3 from the left wing for her only points in 12 minutes overall.
Mary Kathryn Govero scored 16 points for Mississippi State, which shot a season-low 22 percent from the field. The Lady Bulldogs had more turnovers (15) than baskets (13).