Reetta Piipari scored 20 points and led pivotal runs in each half yesterday, and Xavier pulled away for a 68-55 victory over No. 24 George Washington in Cincinnati.

Xavier (15-3, 5-2 Atlantic 10) took control with a 12-0 run late in the first half, pushing its one-point lead to 28-15. Piipari's three-point play and two free throws started the run.

George Washington (14-3, 5-1) shot 20 percent in the first half and made only 1 of 11 three-point attempts. The second half started the same way, with George Washington missing its first four shots and Xavier's Amy Waugh hitting a three-pointer that built the lead to 35-20.

Consecutive three-pointers by Petra Dubovcova and Kristeena Alexander and a pair of free throws by Dubovcova cut the lead to 55-50 with 4 minutes 48 seconds left, but Piipari made two free throws and consecutive three-pointers that rebuilt the lead to 63-50 with 2:12 left. George Washington never got it under double-digits again.

Starr Jefferson scored 15 points for George Washington, which shot only 30 percent from the field. Xavier held its lead by making 21 of 27 from the foul line.

GEORGETOWN 60, ST. JOHN'S 54: Nathalie Bourdereau scored 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting to give the Hoyas their third straight Big East victory at McDonough Arena. Georgetown hit 13 of 25 field goals in the second half to overcome a 26-22 halftime deficit. Lesley Walker scored 15 points and Nok Duany added 10 for the Hoyas (10-7, 3-3). St. John's (6-11, 1-6) was led by Aiysha Smith's 14 points and 10 rebounds.

HOWARD 80, BETHUNE-COOKMAN 66: The visiting Bison took a 12-point lead early in the game, lost the lead later in the first half, and then came back to remain in first place in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference. Howard was losing 33-29 late in the first half but went on a 9-1 run to end the half and led 38-34 at the break. Chanell Washington scored 20 points and hit 12 free throws to pace the Bison (8-8, 6-1).

CATHOLIC 65, GALLAUDET 63: Sophomore guard Meg Hagarty stole Gallaudet's inbound pass with three seconds remaining to secure the win in a Capital Athletic Conference game at DuFour Center. Freshman forward Jackie Yacenda led the Cardinals (8-8, 2-4) with 16 points and nine rebounds. Gallaudet (7-8, 3-3) was led by senior center Ronda Jo Miller, who had 17 points and 12 rebounds.