By: Isabel Smith ~Staff Writer~
The Butler Bulldogs handed the Xavier women’s basketball team its second straight loss at home and the team’s third home loss this season. The game was tightly contested throughout but resulted in a tough 58-54 loss for the Musketeers.
On Jan. 25 the Bulldogs headed to Cintas Center for an afternoon match-up that was nationally televised on Fox Sports 1.
The game benefitted the Cure Starts Now Foundation, raising money for brain cancer research. Each Big East team hosts a game in which ticket and merchandise sales will contribute to research on Lauren Hill’s type of brain tumor, brainstem glioma (DIPG) which researchers believe would ultimately lead to a “homerun” cure for all types of cancer.
The Musketeers entered the game looking for redemption following their disappointing conference loss to the Villanova Wildcats.
The first advantage went to Xavier when redshirt sophomore and star player Raeshaun Gaffney made a basket to begin the game.
The Musketeers relinquished their lead by allowing the Bulldogs to go on a 6-for-6 run to put the score at 13-2. Throughout the next ten minutes, Xavier battled Butler to gain the lead.
The Musketeers finally grabbed it with 4:51 left on the clock before half time and the score at 26-25. Butler eventually got within one point, leaving the score at 33-32 at the break.
Junior guards Aliyah Zantt and Jenna Crittendon led the Muskies in the first half with eight points each.
The Bulldogs returned from the half with renewed strength and power.
Butler went on a 6-3 run and took the advantage from Xavier. Just as the Musketeers seemed to be allowing the lead to slip away, Crittendon scored 10 consecutive points.
After its largest lead of the game of nine points, Xavier tried its best to dominate the remainder of the game.
The Bulldogs eventually caught up and tied the contest at 50 with just less than six minutes remaining on the clock.
Butler eventually came out on top, but Xavier ultimately left the game with positive takeaways.
Crittendon scored her season-high 18 points in the contest with 6-of-8 shooting and an impressive three 3-pointers.
She also had seven rebounds, helping the Musketeers out-rebound the Bulldogs by nine.
Other Xavier players put forth significant performances.
Junior guard Briana Glover and Gaffney both posted points in the double digits, with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Xavier women’s basketball team returns to action on Jan. 30 against the Creighton Blue Jays in Omaha, Neb.