By: Jack Dunn ~Staff Writer~
The Xavier women’s basketball team remains undefeated after a close 61-58 victory over the Michigan Wolverines on Dec. 5. The Musketeers moved to 6-0 while the Wolverines dropped to 7-2.
It was one of the closer games of the season, with eight ties and nine lead changes between the two teams.
Michigan’s 58 points was a season low for the Wolverines, who normally average 86.4 points per game.
The Musketeers went on a 12-3 run in the first quarter to hold a 16-13 advantage and followed it up by going on an 8-2 run to open the second.
However, the Wolverines were able to come back and force a 28- 28 tie at half.
Xavier was able to close out the third quarter on another run, this time 10-2, and then jumped out early in the fourth, led by redshirt sophomore Kindell Fincher’s nine points.
The Musketeers were up 57- 51 with 4:07 left in the quarter when Michigan’s Katelynn Flahert put up five straight points to give Michigan a 58-57 lead with a minute to go.
Redshirt sophomore Imani Partlow was then able to regain possession and sink two free throws to put the Musketeers ahead and seal the win.
Fincher led the way for the Musketeers by posting a careerhigh 17 points on 6-12 shooting, including another career high of five threes.
Senior Maddison Blackwell finished the game with 12 points and 10 rebounds, her sixth career double-double. Redshirt senior Raeshaun Gaffeny was the third Musketeer to put up double digits with 14 points.
Xavier out rebounded Michigan 46-32, led by Blackwell and senior Leah Schaffer.
The 6-0 start marks the longest win streak to begin a season since the Musketeers opened the 2010- 11 season with 11 consecutive victories. Xavier went on to win 29 games that season, eventually losing in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Musketeers’ next game is at 7 p.m. on Dec. 8 at Wake Forest. The undefeated record will be put to the test on Dec. 19 when they play against No. 19 Oklahoma, who are 5-2.
After a short road trip over break, the Musketeers will return home to Cintas on Jan. 2 vs St. John’s for the start of conference play.
Xavier currently is at the top of the conference but will have to face off against tough teams such as No. 16 DePaul and 7-1 Providence.