Xavier Falls to Middle Tennessee 65-49
Dec. 9, 2011
CINCINNATI- Xavier concluded its five-game home stand Friday with a 65-49 defeat to Middle Tennessee State at Cintas Center. Sophomore guard Lynette Holmes had a team-high 15 points from 5-of-8 shooting.
XU falls to 3-5 for the season and MT improved to 6-4. The all-time series between these two teams is now knotted up at four a piece.
Ebony Rowe had a game-high 24 points and 13 rebounds for Middle Tennessee. Teammate Kortni Jones tied a career-high with six three-point field goals and finished with 18 points.
Junior forward Amber Gray had 12 points including a season-high six free throws. Freshman Liz Stratman added eight rebounds and had a career-high three blocked shots. XU shot 46.2 percent and held MT to 41.3 percent shooting. However, Middle Tennessee kept up the pressure the entire game and forced a season-high 27 turnovers for XU.
The game was a tale of two halves as XU kept it close with MT in the first half, but was outscored by 15 in the second. The Musketeers were down by as much as 18 at one point in the second half.
MT started to pull away midway in the second half as it went on a 21-3 run to expand its lead to 62-42. During the run Middle Tennessee dropped three long range treys.
Xavier finished the first half only down 30-29 to Middle Tennessee. Gray had a team-high 10 points and was 4-of-4 from the free throw line entering the locker rooms. XU was ahead for most of the first half but MT closed the half on an 11-0 run to regain the lead.
XU played stingy defense to start the half as it went on a 14-2 run and didn't allow a field goal for over five minutes. The run included a stylish drive to the bucket where Shatyra Hawkes spun around one defender capped by an up and under layup.
The Musketeers limited MT to 40 percent shooting and swatted away three shots in the first half. XU shot 47.8 percent from the field and 70 percent from the free-throw line.
Xavier travels to Las Vegas for the Duel in the Desert Sunday Dec. 18 to face Big East opponent Syracuse. Tip-off is expected to start at 3 p.m.