12:00 PM ET, March 7, 2009
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Once the potential game-tying 3-pointer hit the rim and bounced off, Dayton's entire bench emptied onto the floor. They met their teammates at midcourt for a wild celebration -- an appropriate reaction after a stunning victory that changes the landscape of the Atlantic 10.Xavier's two-year reign as league champion is over.Justine Raterman led a parade of freshmen to come up big for the surprising eighth-seeded Flyers on Saturday, scoring 17 points and hitting the go-ahead 3-pointer in overtime in a 63-60 victory over the top-seeded Musketeers (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 16 AP) in the tournament quarterfinals."I'm a little overwhelmed," Dayton coach Jim Jabir said after knocking off their state rival. "Xavier is a great team."The loss opens the door for another team to get an automatic NCAA tournament berth after the slumping Musketeers' second loss in three games."It definitely shows the strength of our conference," commissioner Bernadette McGlade said.Raterman, the league's rookie of the year, had scored 14 points in the first 22 minutes, then didn't score until her 3 with 1:02 left put Dayton (20-12) ahead 61-60.Xavier's April Phillips missed a layup before Dayton's Kristin Daugherty hit two free throws. Tudy Reed missed a tying 3 at the buzzer, sending Xavier (25-6) home two days earlier than planned."I thought we had plenty of chances to really take control of the game," Musketeers coach Kevin McGuff said. "But it seemed like at each of those points, Dayton got a big rebound or made a big shot and that's to their credit."De'Sarae Chambers had a career-high 19 points for Dayton and Kendel Ross grabbed 16 rebounds. Using a zone defense that frustrated Xavier's big front line, Dayton held a 47-41 edge on the glass against the league's top rebounding team.Special Jennings scored 17 points, while league player of the year Ta'Shia Phillips was held to 10 points for Xavier. She did grab 19 rebounds, but got little help."Usually we're aggressive on the boards," Phillips said. "We're so used to being inside rebounding. There were a lot of long rebounds today and frankly we just didn't attack the rebounds like we should have."Xavier was fortunate just to reach overtime.Chambers scored eight consecutive points for Dayton -- two free throws to tie the game then consecutive 3-pointers -- to put the Flyers ahead 56-50 with 1:41 left.But the Musketeers rallied, tying it on Jerri Taylor's step-back 3 from the right wing with 17.9 seconds remaining. Chambers then missed a game-winning 3 attempt.Raterman's 3 put Dayton ahead to stay and the Flyers avenged two regular-season losses to the Musketeers, who went 13-1 in league play."We won the big one. We won the one that matters," Raterman said. "It's just so exciting to be a part of this right now. We all wanted it so bad."Xavier again played without its top player from the previous two seasons. Amber Harris, who hasn't played this season following October knee surgery, has practiced the previous two weeks, but was held out by McGuff."I think she's very close to being able to return, but just not quite there yet," McGuff said. "As much as I would have loved to have played her, I just didn't think it would be right for her at this point."McGuff wouldn't say if Harris will play in the NCAA tournament. After this loss, that road will be much tougher for the Musketeers."I think with our RPI and the quality wins that we have, I still think we'd be a six, five, maybe seven [seed] at the worst," McGuff said. "It's so hard to tell, but I am proud of what we've been able to accomplish at this point. I'm certainly hopeful that we can be prepared to make a run in the NCAA tournament."
Team Stat Comparison
|FG Made-Attempted||23-59 (.390)||23-70 (.329)|
|3P Made-Attempted||7-20 (.350)||9-25 (.360)|
|FT Made-Attempted||10-14 (.714)||5-7 (.714)|
|Fouls (Tech/Flagrant)||11 (0/0)||14 (0/0)|