By Ryan Hulligan, Staff Writer
Xavier women’s basketball is looking to hold their spot at the top of the Big East rankings coming off a 3-0 win streak to start the season. They’re looking to keep this streak alive for as long as possible. Freshman point guard Kaleigh Addie was recently named Big East Freshman of the week and helped her team to their 3-0 start to the season, taking down Miami University, Detroit Mercy and Saint Francis, all non-conference games. These non-conference games have proven helpful for the Musketeers as they get their footing and momentum down before diving into Big East play.
The Musketeers have two more non-conference games before they head into Big East play. They’ll take on Old Dominion and McNeese State before facing off against Creighton at the Cintas Center on Nov. 25. The nationally ranked #1 Creighton Bluejays should be a good matchup for the Musketeers, but it’s hard to know just how good they’ll be as they’ve only played two games so far. Xavier should expect a tough match from them as one of those wins was against another nationally ranked team.
After Creighton, Xavier will take on Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE). The Musketeers should pick up a fairly easy win against them, since SIUE has been bullied in the past couple games so far this season.
Back to conference play, the Musketeers will play Seton Hall at home and Georgetown in an away game. Seton Hall will take on the nationally ranked Princeton team, so Xavier should get a better look at just how talented the Pirates are.
Further down the road, Xavier will hit a tough stretch of Big East games, playing Butler, UConn, St. Johns, Providence, Depaul, Villanova, Marquette and then a few rematches of those games come January and leading into February and finishing off with the Big East tournament.
Looking to keep this momentum, Xavier will attempt to win their way to the tournament and hope for a win after a few disappointing years.
The Musketeers are leaning on junior point guard Scarlett Mackayla in good shape. She’s averaging 17.7 points per game on 53% shooting from behind the arc. Smith Taylor is also hot from behind the arc, shooting 60% on less threes attempted per game. Again, Addie has also come up big for Xavier and will only get better from here. Addie has started off the season hot, averaging around 11 points, being the second highest scorer on the team as a first year. As time goes on, Addie will most likely get more comfortable and come up even more crucial for the team and hopefully help lead them to some big wins.
Xavier also has the advantage of having a majority home game season. They will play 18 games at home and only 12 away. They’ll be looking to capitalize on the home court advantage, feed off the energy of the crowd and use their comfort of the home court to steal a few wins and get up there in the rankings.