Ross, Gray lead Xavier past Chicago St. & Tenn Tech

Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | Sophomore forward A’riana Gray (No. 21) led the way for the Musketeers in their 70-60 victory against Tennessee Tech. She posted her second career double-double collecting 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

The women’s basketball team started its season on a high note with two victories, beating Chicago State 91-57 and Tennessee Tech 70-60 in the opening week. Both games were played at home in Cintas Center.

Xavier opened the season against Chicago State last Wednesday. The Musketeers jumped out to a fast start, scoring 34 points in the first quarter while only allowing 17.

They continued their first half domination into the second quarter, allowing just five points while scoring 16 of their own. As a result, Xavier led 50-22 at the break.
Chicago State gained some momentum in the third quarter however, outscoring Xavier 21-17 in the period.

Xavier took the momentum back in the fourth quarter and closed the game out strong, outscoring Chicago State by 10 points, 24-14, in the final period.

Sophomore forward Deja Ross led the team in scoring with 22 points on just 11 field goal attempts, of which she made eight.

Ross also had six rebounds and four made three-point field goals on seven tries.

The forward tandem of sophomore A’riana Gray and redshirt junior Tierra Floyd also scored in double figures, chipping in 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Freshman forward Ayanna Townsend also played a major role in the victory, scoring 15 points and going a perfect 6-6 from the field. Townsend also had the game high in rebounds with eight, and blocks, with four.

The win improved Xavier’s record to 19-0 in season openers at Cintas Center.
Following Chicago State, the Musketeers took on Tennessee Tech last Sunday. In a game that was much more evenly matched than the opener, Xavier managed to pull out the victory after overcoming an early deficit.

Tennessee Tech started the game strong, outscoring Xavier in the first quarter by three, 20-17.

Xavier was able to battle back in the second quarter, winning it 19-13, and took a three point, 36-33 lead into the locker room.

Tennessee Tech continued to stay within striking distance through the third quarter, trailing only 51-46 heading into the fourth quarter. Xavier managed to keep them at arm’s length for the rest of the game, eventually grabbing the 70-60 victory.

Gray built on a quality performance against Chicago State to post the team’s first double-double of the season, scoring 24 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.

Her 24 points were also a new career high. Sophomore guard Aaliyah Dunham also scored in double figures, as did junior guard Tee Owens, scoring 13 and 12 points, respectively.

Up next, Xavier takes on No. 25 Minnesota on Wednesday at 7 p.m. in Cintas Center. After that, the Musketeers will take on Fairfield at 2:00 p.m. on Nov. 17 in Cintas as a part of the Lauren Hill Tipoff Classic.

By: Donnie Menke | Staff Writer