Xavier snaps losing streak for first Big East win

Musketeers net a season-high 13 threes in decisive victory over Georgetown

By Joe Clark | Staff Writer

Xavier women’s basketball’s two-game road trip last week proved to be fruitful as the Musketeers snapped their 13-game losing streak. The team picked up its first Big East win of the 2019-20 campaign with an 85-64 win over Georgetown in the nation’s capital last Friday before falling 66-54 to Villanova on Sunday afternoon.

Xavier’s 3-point prowess was on display against Georgetown, and the team knocked down a remarkable 65% of its triples (13-20).

Junior guard Aaliyah Dunham, who scored 20 points, and sophomore guard Lauren Wasylson, who added 12 points, led the way from behind the arc with four 3-pointers apiece.

Dunham’s 20-point mark set a new career high. Xavier ranks third in the conference in three-point field goal percentage shooting at a .375 clip from the perimeter.

The Musketeers got off to a hot start and never looked back opening on an 11-4 lead early in the game and taking a 22-16 lead into the second quarter. Georgetown rallied back with a run of its own in the second quarter to go up 27-23, but Xavier responded quickly with a 13-1 run. After taking an eight-point lead into the half, the Musketeers outscored the Hoyas 21-13 in the third quarter and then 28-23 in the fourth and final frame to give them the victory.

Junior forward A’riana Gray matched Dunham with 20 points to tie for the team lead. Dunham, Gray and Wasylson were three of five Musketeers scoring in double figures. Joining them were sophomore forward Sarah Leyendecker (13 points) and sophomore guard Carrie Gross (10 points). The win also snapped a seven-game losing streak for the Musketeers against Georgetown.

Against Villanova on Sunday, the Wildcats stifled the Musketeers in the first quarter, holding Xavier to just six points.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 21-6 lead after one quarter. Xavier cut the Villanova advantage to 14 at 29-15 late in the second quarter, but Villanova answered with a 5-2 run to take a 17-point lead into the break. Gray’s six first-half points led the Musketeers at the half.

After being held to a 25% field goal percentage in the first half, the Musketeers caught fire to begin the second half, shooting 8-15 from the field.

Xavier outscored Villanova in the third quarter and sliced the deficit to manageable 12 points at 50-38 to begin the fourth quarter.

Despite getting within single digits on multiple occasions, the Musketeers couldn’t get in front of a nine-point deficit in the fourth quarter.

Gray led the Musketeers with a double-double, posting 20 points for the second consecutive game while tallying 10 rebounds.

The Musketeers return home on Friday to take on Big East-leading DePaul at 7 p.m. at Cintas Center.