Gray leads strong push, but Musketeers fall twice

Newswire photo by Desmond Fischer | Sophomore forward A’riana Gray scored a team-high 23 points against Creighton and 13 points against Providence last week. She also recorded a double-double in both games despite the Musketeers’ two losses.

The women’s basketball team suffered a pair of tough conference losses, dropping games against Creighton and Providence on the road.

The Musketeers took Creighton to overtime before ultimately falling short but lost by double-digits to Providence.

Against Creighton, it was a back-and-forth first quarter. Xavier led 10-6, but Creighton fought back with a 13-6 run to grab a 19-16 lead heading into the second quarter.

The second quarter, however, was not close. Xavier won the quarter 18-2, including a 7-0 run to open the quarter, and led 34-21 at halftime.

Creighton responded with its own 7-0 run to start the second half and only trailed by single-digits, 34-28, as a result. Creighton continued to chip away at the lead until it tied the game at 40-40 with 1:27 remaining in the third quarter.

The fourth quarter was even closer than the first, with neither team leading by more than five points. Xavier led 54-49 with 1:22 left in regulation. Creighton closed the fourth quarter on a 5-0 run to force overtime.

In overtime, Creighton took a seven-point lead, 61-54, before Xavier was able to get on the board in overtime. They were able to cut the deficit to three, 65-62, with 10 seconds left, but a Creighton free throw sealed a 66-62 win against Xavier.

Sophomore A’riana Gray led the team in scoring with 23 points. She also led the team in rebounding and steals with 13 and seven, respectively. Junior guard Tee Owens also scored in double-figures, getting 11 points.

Against Providence, the game started out close, with the score being 11-11 with just over five minutes remaining in the first quarter. However, a 12-3 Providence run allowed the Friars to take a 23-14 lead into the second quarter.

Providence was able to keep their momentum going into the second quarter, eventually stretching its lead to double digits. It led 46-31 going into halftime.

The Friars continued to build a lead after halftime, opening the third quarter on a 7-0 run to lead by 22 points, 53-31.

Xavier responded with a 9-0 run to cut the Providence lead down to 13 points, but Providence was able to extend its lead back to 15, 58-43, heading into the fourth quarter.

The Musketeers were able to fight back in the final quarter, outscoring Providence 15-13. However, it was not enough to overcome the deficit as Providence won the game 71-58.

Gray posted another strong stat line, getting a double-double by scoring 13 points and grabbing 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Princess Stewart was second on the team in scoring with nine points. Owens and junior forward Tierra Floyd also scored eight points apiece.

Next week, Xavier plays No. 10 Marquette at Cintas Center on Friday at 7 p.m.

The Musketeers also play DePaul at home on Sunday at 2 p.m.

By: Donnie Menke | Staff Writer