Senior Jessica Pachko (left) was named to the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team while senior Amber Gray earned A-10 All-Conference Third Team honors
March 7, 2013
PHILADELPHIA - The Xavier women's basketball team is set to make its 18th-consecutive appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship Friday evening as the seventh-seeded squad in the tournament. XU will square off against No. 10 Temple at 5 p.m. at Saint Joseph's Hagan Arena.
About the Musketeers
Xavier (13-15, 7-7 A-10) is currently riding a six-game winning streak and the Musketeers have won seven of their last eight games. The 13 wins this year are the most in a season under head coach Amy Waugh (eight wins in 2011-12). As a team, Xavier ranks first in the A-10 in defensive rebounding percentage (.710), second in defensive rebounds (27.1), third in rebounding defense (34.8) and fourth in free throw percentage (.727), field goal percentage (.397) and rebounding margin (+3.3).
The Musketeers are led by senior Amber Gray (11.1 ppg. - 19th A-10), one of four players averaging nine-plus points a game. She also boasts a 78.4 free throw percentage (4th A-10) while senior Jessica Pachko (10.2 ppg.) leads the team with 6.7 boards per contest (17th A-10) and a 54.0 field goal percentage (2nd A-10). Junior Ashley Wanninger is the team's resident long-ball expert, sinking 34.9 percent of her shots from beyond the arc (9th A-10) and she averages 1.8 3-point baskets per game (7th A-10).
Temple (12-17, 5-9 A-10) won five of seven games in late January, early February before its current five-game slide. The Owls closed out A-10 play with a 58-44 loss to Fordham at home on March 3. As a team, Temple ranks third in the Atlantic 10 in 3-point field goal percentage defense (.255), rebounding offense (40.4) and defensive rebounds (26.3).
The Owls are led by Victoria Macauley with 14.4 ppg. (t-6th A-10) and 9.2 rpg. (4th A-10). Macauley also boasts a 44.0 field goal percentage (12th A-10) while Tyonna Williams is the team's assists (5.1 - 3rd A-10) and free throw percentage leader (73.9 - 12th A-10).
Xavier and Temple have previously met 24 times over the last 18 seasons with the Musketeers holding the 14-10 advantage in the series. The two programs first squared off on Jan. 20, 1996 as XU picked up the 100-82 win in Cincinnati. Most recently, the Musketeers came away from Philadelphia with a 54-53 win over the Owls on Feb. 20 of this season. Xavier and Temple have met each other six times in the A-10 Championship with each claiming three wins.
Last Time Out
With just over six minutes left, Xavier and Massachusetts were tied at 51-all last Saturday afternoon at UMass' Mullins Center. The Musketeers were up three, 57-54, with 3:26 on the clock and proceeded to hold the Minutewomen scoreless the rest of the game, stretching their lead to the final margin of 67-54. Three Musketeers scored in double figures led by senior Jessica Pachko with a career-high 23 points to go with seven rebounds and three steals. Junior Shatyra Hawkes chipped in 12 points while dishing out four assists and freshman Jenna Crittendon added 11 points and four assists as well.
Musketeers in the A-10 Championship
Xavier is making its 18th consecutive appearance in the Atlantic 10 Championship, having made the postseason tournament every season the team has been a part of the league. The Musketeers boast six tournament titles - the most among active teams and tied with former member Penn State which won six titles during its A-10 tenure 1983-1991. Xavier is looking for its fifth tourney title in the last seven years (2011, 2010, 2008, 2007). XU holds an all-time record of 28-11 (.718) in the championship, including a 4-2 mark in first round games, an 11-4 record in quarterfinal contests, a 7-4 mark in semifinal games and a 6-1 record in finals matchups.