March 1, 2013
CINCINNATI - The Xavier women's basketball team is closing out the 2012-13 regular season on the road at Massachusetts Saturday afternoon. The Musketeers are taking their five-game winning streak into UMass' Mullins Center with tip-off set for 1 p.m. Senior Amber Gray leads the team with 11.2 ppg. and senior Jessica Pachko is the team's leading rebounder with 6.7 rpg.
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About the Musketeers
Xavier (12-15, 6-7 A-10) is currently riding a five-game winning streak and the Musketeers have won six of their last seven games games. The 12 wins so far this season are the most in a season under head coach Amy Waugh (eight wins in 2011-12). As a team, Xavier ranks second in the A-10 in defensive rebounds (27.2), third in rebounding defense (34.5), fourth in free throw percentage (.722), field goal percentage (.398), 3-point field goal percentage (.318) and rebounding margin (+3.5).
The Musketeers are led by senior Amber Gray (11.2 ppg. - 16th A-10), one of four players averaging nine-plus points a game. She also boasts a 79.1 free throw percentage (4th A-10) while senior Jessica Pachko (9.6 ppg.) leads the team with 6.7 boards per contest (17th A-10) and a 53.4 field goal percentage. Junior Ashley Wanninger is the team's resident long-ball expert, sinking 36.2 percent of her shots from beyond the arc (7th A-10) and she averages 1.9 3-point baskets per game (7th A-10).
Massachusetts (3-25, 1-12 A-10) is currently suffering through a 12-game losing streak after opening Atlantic 10 Conference play with a win against George Washington on Jan. 12. Most recently, the Minutewomen fell to the Hawks of Saint Joseph's, 87-50 on Feb. 27. Jasmine Harris led the team with 11 points in the loss. UMass ranks sixth in the A-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.308) and seventh in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.286) and defensive rebounds (24.9).
The Minutewomen are led Jasmine Watson with 11.5 ppg. (15th A-10) and Rashida Timbilla with 8.1 rpg. (7th A-10). Watson also boasts the league's third-best field goal percentage at .512 and Emily Mital makes a team-best 1.7 3-point baskets per game (8th A-10).
Xavier and Massachusetts have previoulsy met 21 times with the Musketeers holding the sizable 19-2 margin in the series. UMass won the first meeting between the two squads, 75-56, on Feb. 10, 1996 and XU picked up the 70-61 victory in the programs' most recent meeting on Feb. 26, 2012. The Musketeers have won 17 straight in the series.
Last Time Out
Trailing by seven with 3:30 left to play, Xavier used a 12-2 run to overtake the visiting George Washington Colonials, 65-62, Wednesday at XU's Cintas Center. Freshman Jenna Crittendon led all scorers with a career-high 19 points in the win for the Musketeers. Senior Amber Gray recorded her third double-double of the season with 10 points and 10 rebounds while junior Ashley Wanninger chipped in 14 points as well.