CINCINNATI -- Reetta Piipari hit three 3-pointers during a 12-2 first-half run as Xavier beat Clemson 77-62 in the second round of the Mideast Regional Sunday for its 20th straight victory.
Taru Tuukkanen scored Xavier's first nine points as the Musketeers led 13-7, but then committed three consecutive turnovers while Clemson (21-10) put together an 11-0 run. The Tigers took a brief lead on a layup and a 3-pointer by Chrissy Floyd.
Then Xavier (30-2) switched to a stifling zone defense, Piipari hit three 3-pointers in less than three minutes, and the Musketeers went ahead for good.
By halftime, the Musketeers had built a 49-27 lead, shooting 68 percent from the field and going 12-of-13 at the line. Meanwhile, Clemson shot only 34 percent and went to the line only four times, making one free throw.
Nicole Levandusky opened the second half with two 3-pointers and finished with 19 points, leading five Xavier players in double figures. Tuukkanen had 14, Piipari and Amy Waugh 13 each, and Jennifer Phillips 12.
Floyd had 24 for Clemson, which trailed by 31 with 9:01 to play, before reducing the deficit.
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