By Joseph Nichols, Staff Writer
Xavier women’s basketball is sizzling this year after leaving three opposing teams smoldering in their first week of games. After the team only won five games last season, the women’s basketball team is already halfway to topping last year’s record. It would appear this smoking gun still has at least one more in the chamber.
On Nov. 7, the Lady Musketeers battled the Miami Redhawks at Miami University. What started out as a close game made way for the first win of the season.
The teams were tied at the end of the first quarter, but Xavier kept the lead for the remaining three quarters of the game. At the women’s basketball home opener, Detroit Mercy had the lead by six points at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, the team had a massive comeback with secure offense and defense, scoring 26 points and only allowing eight points to be scored by Detroit Mercy.
These wins are a hot start to the season, being aided by 6-foot-2 forward transferring from Kent State, Nila Blackford. Blackford played three seasons with the Golden Flashes, tallying 958 career points. She averaged 12.4 points and 9.0 rebounds during her time at Kent State. She helped rally her former team to a second round WNIT before falling short to the Toledo Rockets.
The Louisville, KT native’s career high is 31 points which she rattled off against matchup with Robert Morris.
This transfer comes at a vital time when the Xavier women’s basketball team appears to be short on depth. In late February, Xavier’s leading scorer Nia Clark, a transfer from Miami University, and Kae Satterfield, a transfer from Ohio State, were both dismissed from the game for violation of team rules.
Clark has since transferred to the Marquette Golden Eagles’ women’s basketball team, and Satterfield has transferred to Big East rival Seton Hall.
The Lady Musketeers stand in first place atop the Big East. Their closest competitor, second place Marquette, is being mustered by Xavier basketball’s old running mate, Nia Clark.
Although these two teams both started 3-0, the rest of the Big East remained undefeated except Depaul, Butler, and Georgetown. With this hot start to the season, the basketball team has a chance to go from the second least amount of wins in the conference to a conference title.
The Big East women’s teams are strong, yet the Lady Musketeers appear to have the skill, but most importantly the drive to give the rest of the Big East a run for the money.