A’riana Gray records 25th straight double-double with 25 points and 11 boards
Xavier women’s basketball returned from a two-game road trip last Friday against Providence for a matinee start.
In front of 3,317 fans for Field Trip Day (Xavier’s second-largest home crowd of the season), the Musketeers pulled out a 61-42 win over the Friars. On Sunday, the Musketeers fell to Creighton, 76-62 in the team’s home finale.
The Musketeers’ defense was stifling in the first quarter, only allowing the Friars to score five points while assuming a 12-5 lead.
Xavier built its lead up to 19-8 after starting the second quarter on a 7-3 run, but Providence responded with a 10-0 run to make it a one-point game.
The Musketeers maintained a one-point lead at the break, leading 21-20. Providence opened the second half by taking a 24-23 lead, but a 15-3 Xavier run gave the Musketeers a double-digit lead at 38-27.
Heading into the fourth, Xavier led 40-30. Providence came out hot in the final quarter with an 8-2 run to cut Xavier’s lead to 42-38, but a 13-2 Xavier run put them up 15 at 55-40, and the Musketeers would close out the 61-42 win.
Junior forward A’riana Gray recorded her 25th straight double-double, scoring 25 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. This included 21 second-half points.
Redshirt freshman guard Ayanna Townsend was also in double-figures with 10 points.
Providence’s 42 points were a season-low for the Friars, which was in large part due to Xavier’s ability to force turnovers. The Musketeers produced 17 turnovers, which they converted into 24 points of their own. The win was Xavier’s third of the season.
Against Creighton, Xavier faced adversity after going down 15-8 early before trailing by nine points heading into the second quarter. Creighton shot 9-14, good for a .643 field-goal percentage in the first quarter.
Xavier cut the Creighton lead to seven with 7:54 left in the second quarter, but Creighton seized an eight-point lead into the half. Sophomore Carrie Gross led the Musketeers with seven points at the half.
The Bluejays extended their lead to 14 in the third quarter before Gray went on a 6-0 run by herself to put Xavier back within eight at 43-35. Creighton responded by going on a 16-7 run to put itself up comfortably at 59-42.
While Xavier outscored Creighton 20-17 in the fourth quarter, it wasn’t enough, as Creighton picked up the 76-62 road win.
Gray scored 11 of her team-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, while junior guard Aaliyah Dunham chipped in 12 points.
Xavier’s continues the final stretch of the year on the road as it takes on Seton Hall Friday night before traveling across state lines to battle St. John’s on Sunday to bookend the regular season.
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