Our friends at ESPN have a feature they call "Instant Classic" when the network immediately will replay a game that producers deem a contest so special, fans need to see it again right away.
Sunday's Crosstown Classic game between UC and XU was exactly what it name says: A classic.
First, congratulations to Amy Waugh and the Xavier Musketeers on the win. Xavier played a total of three overtimes in its two games this weekend, one in a loss to Appalachian State on Friday night, then two Sunday against UC. They were resiliant after facing double-digit deficits and came back to win.
Second, what a showing by UC, even in a loss. Dayeesha Hollins showed why she is the quarterback for Jamelle Elliott as the junior from Winton Woods practically willed the Bearcats to the win, all by herself. As it was, Hollins tossed in 25 points and a career high 14 rebounds. How many times she hit the floor chasing after a loose ball, I lost count. She gave every ounce of effort she had in this game.
UC was strong at the start as the Bearcat defense lived up to its billing, holding Xavier to only 15 points in the first half. But injuries and fouls started to take their toll in the second half. Give credit to Tiffany Turner, coming back from concussion symptoms, for playing well inside with 11 points. Jeanise Randolph, also coming back after a wrist injury, was a bit tentative early playing with a soft cast on her right hand, but seems to get more comfortable as the game went on. Her leg injury late in the second half may have been the difference in the game as the Bearcats missed her experience at crucial times in OT.
But the real winners in this game were the dozens of girls' youth basketball teams who attended the contest and got to see the best that women's basketball has to offer. You can only hope that in that crowd, some of these girls will be inspired to play a little harder, work a little longer and see a future that they can have playing basketball. They saw a true Crosstown Classic.