Women's Basketball Releases 2013-14 Non-Conference Schedule
Aug 15, 2013
CINCINNATI - Xavier women's basketball has announced the 2013-14 non-conference schedule, a slate that features six home games, including Cincinnati and Indiana, and a tournament in the Virgin Islands. The 2013-14 non-conference slate includes four contests against teams that qualified for postseason play, each of which finished the 2012-13 season with a top-55 RPI.
The dates for the 18-game BIG EAST Conference slate will be announced at a later time. Xavier will play home-and-away series against all nine BIG EAST opponents: Butler, Creighton, DePaul, Georgetown, Marquette, Providence, Seton Hall, St. John's and Villanova.
"We are looking forward to the challenges in our non-conference schedule," said third-year head coach Amy Waugh. "It will definitely test us early and we're going to have a lot of new players who are going to have to be ready to make positive contributions immediately."
The Musketeers are coming of a season where they advanced to the 2013 Buick Atlantic 10 Championship and earned a No. 7 seed. XU finished with a 13-16 overall record that included a 7-7 mark in league play.
Xavier will open the program's 43rd season against MAC opponent Ohio on Sunday, Nov. 10 at the Convocation Center in Athens, Ohio. Led by new head coach Bob Boldon, the Bobcats are coming off a 6-23 season, where they finished 1-15 in Mid-American Conference play and lost in the first round of the conference tournament.
The Blue and White head north to Ann Arbor, Mich. to battle the Wolverines of the University of Michigan on Nov. 13. The Wolverines finished 22-11 (9-7 Big Ten) last season, tying the program record for wins and reaching the second round of the NCAA Tournament (No. 8 seed) for just the third time in program history. Michigan, led by second-year head coach Kim Barnes Arico, welcomes four newcomers to a squad that lost its top five scorers to graduation. The five seniors accounted for 50.7 points and 23.6 rebounds per game, which accounted for 84.4 percent and 68.2 percent of the team's scoring and rebounding last season, respectively.
The Musketeers then return home to Cintas Center to host Arkansas-Pine Bluff (Nov.17) and Longwood (Nov. 20). XU will face both opponents for the first time in program history. The Lady Lions, led by 2013 SWAC Coach of the Year Nate Kilbert, finished last season with a 13-18 overall record (7-11 SWAC). Kilbert, entering his second year at the helm, led UAPB to 13 wins in 2012-13, completely turning around a women's basketball program around that had won just two games total (2-58 overall) in the previous two seasons. The Lancers return eight letterwinners from a squad that went 14-19 overall (8-10 Big South) and secured an appearance in the 2013 Big South Conference Championship finals. The team's 14 victories marked the most wins in a season for the program since moving to Division I in 2007-08 (16).
XU will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in paradise, as they will participate in the 2013 Ezybonds Global Payments U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam at University of the Virgin Islands from Nov. 28-30. Xavier will compete in the Island Division and will face ACC member Duke, the Big 12's Kansas and Central Michigan in the three-day event. The Musketeers appearance in the Paradise Jam marks the third time in the last eight seasons that XU has participated in an elite holiday tournament. The Blue and White defeated Auburn (75-64) and Western Michigan (69-62) before falling to Marquette (73-53) in the 2006 Paradise Jam. In 2009-10 at the Junkanoo Jam in Freeport, Bahamas, Xavier defeated Kansas (76-71) and Minnesota (71-56) en route to the Junkanoo Jam Freeport Division Championship.
"We are very excited to be playing in the Paradise Jam," Waugh said. "This is a great trip for our players and fans. We will play some quality teams at a neutral venue, which will give our team a chance to grow and prepare for BIG EAST Conference play."
Duke, ranked No. 6 in the final ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll (April 8), notched a 33-3 record this past season, will return all five starters in 2013-14, including 93.7 percent of its scoring. The Blue Devils welcome back All-America selections Chelsea Gray and Elizabeth Williams along with All-ACC performers Tricia Liston and Haley Peters. Freshman All-America and ACC Tournament MVP Alexis Jones is the final returning starter for Duke. A total of 11 letterwinners will return to the squad next season as JoAnne McCallie enters her seventh year at Duke. McCallie has guided Duke to four straight ACC regular season titles, three ACC Championships and four consecutive NCAA Elite Eight appearances, while posting a 174-35 record.
The Kansas Jaykawks, who are coming off back-to-back NCAA Tournament Sweet 16 appearances for the first time in school history, returns two starters and seven letterwinners from last year's squad that finished the season with a 20-14 mark (8-10 Big 12). KU, who finished the 2012-13 campaign ranked No. 25 in the nation, upset No. 5 seed Colorado and No. 4 seed South Carolina as a No. 12 seed in the 2013 NCAA Tournament. Kansas will have to replace its top three scorers, highlighted by the 29th pick (Tulsa Shock) in the 2013 WNBA Draft Angel Goodrich, which accounted for 39.8 points per game or 57 percent of the team's scoring, but have added a solid recruiting class with five incoming freshmen.
The Central Michigan Chippewas were 21-12 during the 2012-13 season, including a 12-4 mark in league play. CMU the 2013 Mid-American Conference Tournament champs, qualified for its first NCAA Tournament since 1984, earned an 11-seed and fell to sixth-seeded Oklahoma, 78-73, in the first round. The Chippewas return seven players that played 10 or more minutes, including All-MAC First Team and WBCA Region 4 All-America candidate Crystal Bradford. Bradford recently helped the 12-member United States World University Games team capture a gold medal with a 90-71 win over host Russia in Kazan, Russia. The rising junior made a name for herself at the World University Games, scoring the game-winning basket with 14 seconds remaining in a semifinal contest against Australia and finishing the tournament averaging 10.8 points and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 60.4 percent from the floor in six contests.
Xavier returns to Cintas Center to host Murray State (Dec. 4) and Austin Peay (Dec. 7). The Racers ended the 2012-13 season at 16-13 overall (8-8 OVC) to mark the second winning season under head coach Rob Cross and the team's first since 2008-09. MSU welcomes a nine-member recruiting class, which includes seven freshmen and two sophomore transfers. The Lady Govs, who lost 14 of the last 16 games in 2012-13, finished last season 7-21 overall (2-14 OVC) and will have their 2013-14 roster dominated by underclassmen, as 11 of their 15 players are freshmen or sophomores.
A road trip to Dayton, Ohio on Dec. 15 pits Xavier against Wright State at the Nutter Center. The Raiders advanced to the Horizon League quarterfinals (lost to Detroit, 72-56) and wrapped up the year with a 12-18 overall record (6-10 Horizon League). XU leads the all-time series with Wright State, but in the last meeting between the two squads, WSU picked up a 66-65 victory, despite a double-double from Lakeisha Crouch (Antioch, Tenn./ Hillsboro HS) and a career-high 17 boards from Jenna Crittendon (Union, Ky./Ryle HS).
The Musketeers return home to host their final two games of 2013 and wrap up the non-conference schedule, as they welcome Cincinnati, for the Crosstown Classic on Dec. 21, and Big Ten foe Indiana (Dec. 29) to Cintas Center. The Bearcats, who have dropped four consecutive Crosstown Classic's to XU and are members of the newly-formed American Athletic Conference, turned in a 12-18 overall (4-12 BIG EAST) last season. Cincinnati, leaders in the all-time series with Xavier (23-13), will be led by junior guard Dayeesha Hollins, who is a back-to-back All-BIG EAST Second Team selection and averaged 15.4 points and 4.1 rebounds in 33.9 minutes per contest. The Hoosiers are coming off an 11-19 (2-14 Big Ten) season where they lost in the opening round of the Big Ten Tournament. In his first season at the helm of the Indiana program, Curt Miller led the Hoosiers to their most wins in three years nearly doubling the program's win total from the year prior to his arrival. In non-conference play, IU compiled a 9-4 record, marking just the third time since 2000 and the first time since 2006-07 that an Indiana team had won nine or more non-Big Ten games in a single season. In Big Ten play, IU doubled the win total in conference games from the year prior, including the program's first win over a ranked opponent since 2010 when IU upended No. 21 Purdue on a last-second shot.
The Musketeers return nine players, including a trio of starters from last year's squad that went 8-8 at Cintas Center. Senior Ashley Wanninger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain HS) is XU's top returning scorer (9.3 ppg) and three-point threat (53 made triples; .349). Xavier's leader in assists (3.7 apg) and free-throw percentage (.810) last season, senior Shatyra Hawkes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy), is the other returning starter. Sophomore Jenna Crittendon (Union, Ky./Ryle HS) is coming off a solid rookie campaign where she averaged 6.4 points and 5.4 rebounds and started in 15 of the 26 contests she played in.
Xavier women's basketball season tickets can be purchased through GoXavier.com and at the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at Cintas Center. For just $50, season tickets holders can enjoy every minute of the excitement. The XU ticket office is open from 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. from Monday through Friday. For more information about season tickets for Xavier women's basketball, fans can call the Xavier Athletics Ticket Office at 513-745-3411 ext. 7.