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Harris scores 22 as Xavier gets by Dayton in overtime

DAYTON, Ohio -- When No. 6 Xavier was threatened with its first Atlantic 10 loss, Amber Harris made the plays that kept the Musketeers perfect.

Harris scored 22 points, five of them in overtime, and Xavier rallied for an 80-79 victory over Dayton on Wednesday night that extended the Musketeers' winning streak to 12 game and kept them unbeaten in the conference.

The 6-foot-5 forward rallied Xavier (21-3, 11-0 Atlantic 10) from a 13-point deficit in the first half. She made the tying shot at the end of regulation and the winning shot in overtime. She also blocked Dayton's final attempt.

"She really turned it on down the stretch and was a key factor in this game," coach Kevin McGuff said. "Now I've just got to get her to do that all the time, attack the basket more."

The Flyers (20-6, 8-3) took a 10-point lead into halftime, looking for an upset on their home court, where they'd won eight in a row. The Musketeers opened the second half with a 16-3 run that put them ahead 51-49 with 11:50 left. There were seven ties and 14 lead changes the rest of the half.

Harris made a driving layup that tied it at 70 and sent it to overtime. She also scored Xavier's final basket, putting the Musketeers ahead 80-77 on a low-post move with 1:51 left. Dayton's Kari Daugherty made a pair of free throws with 38 seconds left.

Down by a point, Dayton coach Jim Jabir decided not to foul, letting Xavier hold the ball and get one more shot.

"It's not in my makeup to do that," Jabir said. "I believed in our offense and I believed in our kids and I thought that we could get a stop."

Point guard Special Jennings missed a pull-up jumper with 8 seconds left and Ta'Shia Phillips got the offensive rebound, but missed on her putback attempt, giving Dayton a last chance. The Flyers called timeout with 2.1 seconds left.

Justine Raterman, who led Dayton with 24 points, caught the inbound pass near midcourt and made a move on Harris. She then shot a 3-pointer that Harris swatted away from behind.

"I knew it was clean," Harris said. "I just had to block it because she'd had a good game."

Phillips had 17 rebounds, making her Xavier's all-time career leader in the category. Jennings led Xavier with a career-high 23 points and seven assists, going 7 of 10 from behind the 3-point arc.

Dayton got its big first-half lead by double-teaming Harris and Phillips. Jennings got open shots and went 4 of 6 from behind the arc in the first half. Jennings scored only one point in Xavier's 74-49 win over Dayton on Jan. 30 in Cincinnati.

"I guess they're not reading the scouting reports right because in the last game I hit four 3s," Jennings said. "There's going to be nights when I don't shoot well, and there's going to be nights when I shoot like I did tonight."

Dayton's Casey Nance had 10 points and 12 rebounds, trying to contain Harris and Phillips inside.

"The effort by our team was unlike any effort I've seen all year," Nance said. "To come up short, it hurts a lot."