By: Josh Bozzick ~Staff Writer~
The Musketeers women’s basketball team capped off its third week in Big East conference play with a 1-1 split in the two games it played during the week. Xavier outlasted the Marquette Golden Eagles (7-11, 2-5 Big East) last Friday night by a score of 71-66.
Four Xavier players went for double figures. Senior forward Brianna Glover went for a team high 20 points to go along with 7 boards. Senior guard Jenna Crittendon provided 12 points, with RS Junior guard Raeshaun Gaffney and senior guard Aliyah Zantt both contributed 10 points apiece. Zantt led all Musketeers in rebounding with nine, an impressive number for a point guard.
The win over Marquette set the scene for a showdown on Sunday with the Big East first place and AP poll No. 25 DePaul Blue Demons, 14-6 (6-1 BE). Entering the contest, the Musketeers shared a first place tie atop the conference standings with the Blue Demons. DePaul entered the game after pulling off a monumental win over Butler on Jan. 15.
Their coach, Doug Bruno, became just the 19th Division 1 women’s basketball coach to reach the 600 victories mark. Bruno has been at DePaul for 30 years and has compiled an impressive record of 600-315 during that span.
Unfortunately for the Musketeers, Bruno notched his 601st win Sunday as Xavier fell in blowout fashion 70-53. The score at halftime was 30-22 DePaul, but the third quarter is what sealed the Musketeers’ fate. The Blue Demons won the third quarter by 8 points and entered the final quarter with a 16-point lead.
With the loss, Xavier fell to 14-4 overall (5-2 Big East), and moved into a 2nd place tie in the Big East conference standings with Villanova. Guard Raeshaun Gaffney scored a game-high of 21 points, well above her season average of 12.7 PPG. Gaffney also grabbed a team-leading 7 rebounds, but the Musketeers were narrowly outrebounded by DePaul 37-35. Guard Aliyah Zantt and forward Brianna Glover both scored 8 points apiece.
DePaul had three players score in double figures. Xavier will look to seek revenge against the Blue Demons on Feb. 12 when they travel to Chicago to face them in what hopes to be a better game. This week the Musketeers will be traveling on the road to face Seton Hall Friday and St. John’s Sunday.