By: Brendan Burris ~Staff Writer~
While much of the buzz around campus surrounding basketball has to do with the men’s team and its top-10 rankings, Xavier’s women’s basketball team has been having a solid, quiet season with a current 13-3 record and a 4-1 start in conference play.
This record, combined with the men’s team, puts the collective basketball programs at 28-4, one of the best-combined W-L of any university in the country. In addition to an earlier Crosstown Shootout win versus Cincinnati, the highlight of the season so far for the team has to be its play during the break, which has coincided with the start of Big East play.
Opening with Georgetown on Dec. 29 and most recently against Providence on Jan. 10, the
team has heated up as the bigger games have come around on the schedule. This 4-1 start to conference play includes victories against the Hoyas and Villanova and road victories at Butler and at Providence, with the only loss on the schedule being a 74-47 defeat to Creighton in Omaha.
The highlight game of the holiday break had to be the Musketeers 74-67 overtime victory against the Villanova Wildcats at Cintas Center on New Year’s Eve. With women’s college basketball now playing in quarters instead of halves, the teams needed extra time to decide this thriller, with the Musketeers outscoring the Wildcats 11-4 in the extra period.
The game was highlighted by junior forward Maddison Blackwell, who scored a careerhigh 27 points and grabbed 12 rebounds, her third career doubledouble as a Musketeer. In addition, redshirt junior guard Raeshaun Gaffney had 25 points during 40 minutes of game time among the five periods.
The game marked the first ever victory against Villanova for the women’s program, bringing the team to 1-5 in the overall series. Senior forward Briana Glover was named to the Big East Honor Roll for her efforts the past week in helping the team to a 2-1 conference record. Glover is the second leading scorer on the Musketeers, averaging 11.6 points per game while shooting 51 percent from the floor.
The team has won eight of its last nine games and is peaking at the right time as conference season hits full swing. It plays next at 7 p.m. on Jan. 15 against Marquette in Cintas Center. The game will be streamed live online on the Big East Digital Network.