Hawkes And Wanninger Earn BIG EAST Preseason Honors; XU Picked To Finish Ninth
Oct. 16, 2013
CINCINNATI – The Xavier women’s basketball program reeled in its first preseason accolades of the season as the BIG EAST Conference and College Sports Madness announced their 2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason All-Conference teams. Senior Shatyra Hawkes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy) was named to the CSM BIG EAST All-Conference fourth team and senior Ashley Wanninger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) earned All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention honors.
In the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll, the Blue and White were predicted to finish ninth (20 points) in the 10-team league. DePaul, which earned an at-large bid to the 2013 NCAA Women’s Basketball Championship, is the top choice to win the league title. The Blue Demons, who have seven letterwinners and three starters back from last year’s NCAA squad, finished with 79 points in the poll and received eight of 10 first-place votes.
The BIG EAST Conference announced the Preseason Poll and Preseason All-Conference honors today at BIG EAST Basketball Media Day at Chelsea Piers in New York City.
Hawkes was joined on the CSM Preseason All-Conference fourth team by Taylor Schippers (Butler), McKenzie Fujan (Creighton), Megan Podkowa (DePaul) and Brittany Horne (Georgetown), while the other players earning All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention honors were Arlesia Morse of Marquette and Eugenia McPherson from St. John’s.
Xavier’s leader in assists (3.7 apg) and free-throw percentage (.810) last season, Hawkes, is one of three returning starters for XU. The senior appeared in 29 games last season, making 26 starts. She averaged 27.1 minutes, 9.2 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.7 assists and finished the year ranked sixth in assist-to-turnover ratio (1.3) and 10th in assists (3.7) in the Atlantic 10 Conference. The Baltimore native posted a team-best 81.0 free throw percentage, tallied an assist in 27 contests, recorded a steal in 21 games and snagged a board in 28 games, including five or more on 13 occasions.
Wanninger, XU’s top returning scorer (9.3 ppg) and three-point threat (53 made triples; .349) started in all 29 games last season and averaged 33.8 minutes per contest. The senior ranked fourth in free throw percentage (.787), sixth in three-point percentage (.349) and 10th in minutes (33.8) in the Atlantic 10 and tallied a trifecta in 27 contests, including two or more 16 times.
The Musketeers, led by interim head coach Brian Neal, return a trio of starters from last year’s squad that went 13-16 overall and 8-8 at Cintas Center. Xavier will open the program’s 43rd season (1st in the BIG EAST) 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’s 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. In BIG EAST play, the Musketeers will face each of its nine new league foes twice each as part of the conference’s double round-robin format. Four BIG EAST teams appeared in the NCAA Tournament last season (DePaul, St. John's, Creighton and Villanova).
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.
For the most up-to-date schedule throughout the season, click the 'Schedule' link on the women's basketball page.
Preseason All-BIG EAST Team
Preseason All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention
2013-14 BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll
College Sports Madness 2013-2014 BIG EAST Preseason All-Conference Team