By: Kyle Tooley ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier women’s basketball team looks to get back on track this Friday versus Butler, a team it has already found success against this season. Coach Brian Neal’s team is coming off a rough three-game stretch with losses at home to No. 25 DePaul and on the road to Seton Hall and St. John’s.
In a Big East conference that is still seemingly wide open, it will be nice for the Musketeers to have back-to-back games against teams they know they can beat, with a home matchup against Providence coming on Feb. 5, just a few days after Butler.
However, the three-game skid did see one big milestone: Senior forward Bri Glover converted a layup against St. John’s that gave her career points 1,000 and 1,001, making her just the 24th player in Xavier basketball history to join the 1,000 point club. Although Glover would probably have loved those points to be scored in a win, we still take our hats off to her, as she continues to be a centerpiece of Xavier basketball.
Now that a career milestone has been reached, it is time for this team to get back to its winning ways. The Musketeers raced off to a 5-1 record in Big East play and were looking to compete in a tough conference, but three straight losses have put those plans on hold for the moment. The team is playing some of the best defense in the conference, but the offense ranks toward the bottom in several different categories (such as field goal percentage, three-point shooting and assists) and tends to lose the turnover battle.
Despite the low-ranking offense, defense can carry them a long way and should help them be one of the last teams standing when the Big East tournament is all said and done. There were times against DePaul when this team looked like it could take the conference.
Ultimately, the single digit quarters that the team has seen in three consecutive games will not get the job done. It is really hard to beat a team like St. John’s in Queens when you have 17 points at halftime.
These things are fixable. All it takes is a few players playing more aggressively and attacking the basket to get an offense humming. If this team can attack the basket, spread the floor and convert on some outside shots, the Musketeers will be fine. Let’s hope they can string a few wins together, starting with a game against Butler at 7 p.m. Friday night at Cintas Center.