@Xavier_WBB Looks to Extend Winning Streak Against Longwood

Freshman Maddison Blackwell

Freshman Maddison Blackwell

Nov. 20, 2013


Game #4 - Xavier (2-1)
vs. Longwood (2-1)
Game Notes:
Xavier Notes
Thursday, November 21, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cintas Center (10,250)
Live Stats:
Live Video:
Mike Schmaltz (P-B-B) and Rich Hoyt (Analyst)
@Xavier_WBB | @XavierGameday
Twitter Hashtags:
Current Streak:
W 2
Last 5 in 2012-13:
Last 10 in 2012-13:
vs. the Big South:
vs. Longwood:
1st Meeting
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Up Next:
2013 Paradise Jam - Nov. 28-30

Xavier, riding a two-game winning streak, will host Big South foe Longwood at Cintas Center on Nov. 21. Tipoff is slated for 7 p.m.

Following the Longwood game, the Blue and White will have about five days heading to the Virgin Islands. XU will spend the Thanksgiving holiday in paradise, as they will participate in the 2013 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. XU 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.

Sophomore Daeisha Brown scored a season-high 24 points, including 21 in the second half, to lead Longwood University to 59-57 come-from-behind victory against Utah Valley University on Saturday (Nov. 16). The Lancers (2-1) trailed 27-22 at halftime before rallying in the second half behind Brown, while sophomore Raven Williams added 11 first-half points before leaving the contest with an injury early in the second half.

Longwood fell behind 7-0 to start the game as Whitney Jenkins scored five quick points for Utah Valley, before Williams made a three-point field goal at 14:30 to make it 7-3. A three-pointer from Brown, her only basket of the first half, had the Lancers within 13-12 at 10:45, and another three-pointer by Williams had the hosts within 18-17 at 8:28. The Wolverines used a 9-0 run to take their largest lead of the contest at 27-17 with 1:21 left until halftime, getting four quick points from Tina Doughty and a three-pointer by Kuklok for the 10-point margin. A jumper from sophomore Deborah Headen and a third three-pointer by Williams made a five-point game at the break, 27-22.

Longwood quickly forged into a 32-32 tie to start the second half at 16:36 behind seven points from Brown, including an old-fashioned three-point play, and one (conventional three-point play) made by sophomore Khalilah Ali, as well. The Lancers continued their momentum toward their largest lead of the game at 41-34 with 14:38 remaining, as Brown scored 13 points during the 19-7 run to start the half.  Freshman Brenna Robbins also had a key three-pointer during the outburst. Utah Valley answered with a 19-10 run of its own to lead 53-51 at 4:04, getting 13 points from Kuklok. Another three-pointer by Robbins gave Longwood the lead for good at 56-55 with 1:18 on the clock, and Ali added a layup at 0:48, and Brown secured the outcome by making 1-2 free throws with 3.1-seconds to play. The Wolverines were not able to get a shot attempt before the final buzzer.

Brown led Longwood with her 24 points, making 8-12 field goals, including 3-4 three-pointers, and 5-7 free throws, adding three assists. Williams had 11 points, including 3-5 three-pointers, while Ali finished with seven points, eight rebounds and six blocks for the Lancers. Robbins contributed six points, making 2-3 three-pointers.  Longwood shot 42% (20-48) from the field, including 33% (8-24) on three-pointers, and 69% (11-16) at the free throw line.

#3 Shatyra Hawkes (G)

• Set a career-high in points (27) at Michigan (Nov. 13)
• 4th in the BIG EAST in points per game (22.0)
• Shooting .422 from the field this season

#13 Ashley Wanninger (G)
• Shooting .773 from the charity stripe
• 10th in the BIG EAST in minutes per game (33.7)
• t-10th in the BIG EAST in points per game (17.0)

#35 Jenna Crittendon (G)
• Set a career-high in points (25) at Ohio (Nov. 10)
• Leads the team and is 9th in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game (7.7)
• Shooting .800 from the free throw line

#14 Briana Glover (F)
• Averaging 25.0 minutes per contest
• Shooting .556 from the floor
• Scored a layup with 23 seconds left to force overtime at U-M (Nov. 13)

#23 Leah Schaefer (F)
• Tallied six points and three boards in her first collegiate game/start
• Finished with nine points and nine rebounds at Michigan (Nov. 13)
• Shooting .636 from the field

Senior Shatyra Hawkes was named to the BIG EAST Weekly Honor Roll on Nov. 18 for her performances in XU’s first three contests. She averaged 22.0 ppg, 6.0 rebounds and 3.3 assists in the 2-1 start for the Musketeers and also had 27 points in an overtime win at Michigan.

In XU’s 79-75 overtime win at Michigan (Nov. 13) they knocked down 11-of-40 shots from behind the arc, marking just the second time the team has made double digit triples in a game since the 2011-12 season.

Season              Gms With Double Digit 3’s
2011-12                           0
2012-13                           1
2013-14                           1

Seniors Shatyra Hawkes and Ashley Wanninger give XU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 39.0 points, 10.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

BIG EAST Top Scoring Tandems
Rule/Harris (Providence) - 41.1 ppg
Richardson-Smith/Simmons (Seton Hall) - 39.5 ppg
HAWKES/WANNINGER (Xavier) - 39.0 ppg
Handford/Brown (SJU) - 36.3 ppg
Plouffe/Ojulu (Marquette) - 34.3 ppg

• The duo has reached double figures in same game three times this season with Xavier going 2-1 in those contests.

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Ohio, the Musketeers (2-1) rank t-4th for the most victories in the state (thru games played on Nov. 19).

School                Record
BGSU                 4-0
Ohio St.              3-1
Wright St.           3-1
Ohio                  2-0
Xavier                2-1
Akron                 2-2
Dayton               2-2
Cleveland St.      1-2
Kent St.              1-2
Toledo               1-2
Miami (OH)         1-2
Cincinnati           1-2     
Youngstown St.   1-2

Xavier scored 88 points on 28-of-61 (45.9 percent) shooting from the floor at Ohio (Nov. 10). The trio of Shatyra Hawkes, Jenna Crittendon and Ashley Wanninger combined for 64 points (20-of-36).

The 88 points is the highest XU total in a game since scoring 92 points at Saint Louis on Feb. 16, 2011.

On Nov. 7, Xavier Director of Athletics Greg Christopher named Brian Neal head coach of Xavier University’s women’s basketball team, making him the seventh head coach in program history. Neal had been operating as the interim head coach since Oct. 9, when former head coach Amy Waugh stepped down after a two-year tenure with the Musketeers.

Neal, who spent the last two seasons as an assistant with Xavier (2011-13), will be in his first season as a Division I head coach. Prior to joining Xavier, Neal was head coach of Thomas More’s women’s program (Division III) for seven years. A graduate of Northern Kentucky University, Neal has also served as an assistant coach at NKU and Wilmington.

Coach Brian Neal and his staff -- assistants Carla Morrow, Bryce McKey and Mark Ehlen, director of operations Garry Horton and video coordinator Brenden Stowers -- have a young team, with eight freshmen and a trio of sophomores on the 13-player roster.

The Blue and White graduated the team’s top two scorers from last year’s squad. That duo – Amber Gray and Jessica Pachko – accounted for 35 percent (21.1) of the team’s scoring and 33.6 percent of the team’s rebounding last year. Gray and Pachko, scored more than 1,000 points combined over the previous two seasons. The Musketeers are coming off a season where they advanced to the 2013 Buick Atlantic 10 Championship and earned a No. 7 seed. XU finished the 2012-13 campaign with a 13-16 overall record that included a 7-7 mark in league play.

The Musketeers return five players, including a trio of starters from last year’s squad that went 8-8 at Cintas Center. Senior Ashley Wanninger 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, is the other returning starter. Sophomore Jenna Crittendon 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.

XU’s other returning letterwinners include sophomores Briana Glover and Aliyah Zantt.

Neal and Company welcome in a huge freshman class (8), which includes Brianna Gladney, Kayla Davis, Maddison Blackwell, Erica Dawson, Leah Schaefer, Martha Thompson, Sydney Neal and Christina Ohlinger.

The Xavier women’s basketball program, led by seniors Shatyra Hawkes and Ashley Wanninger, were predicted to finish ninth (20 points) in the BIG EAST Preseason Coaches’ Poll. Hawkes was named to the CSM BIG EAST All-Conference fourth team and Wanninger earned All-BIG EAST Honorable Mention honors.

The BIG EAST Conference announced the Preseason Poll and Preseason All-Conference honors on Oct. 16, 2013 at BIG EAST Basketball Media Day at Chelsea Piers in New York City.

2013-14 SCHEDULE
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).

Head coach Brian Neal announced on Nov. 13, the signings of four student-athletes to National Letters of Intent. Jada Byrd (Lithonia Ga./Redan HS), Imani Partlow (Cincinnati, Ohio/Winton Woods HS), Marquia Turner (North Canton, Ohio/Hoover HS) and Kindell Fincher (Fort Wayne, Ind./Canterbury HS) will join the Musketeer program for the 2014-15 academic year.

Blue Star Basketball ranked the Blue and White’s recruiting class No. 38 in the country and third in the BIG EAST, while Dan Olson of the Collegiate Girls Basketball Report ranked the class second in the BIG EAST.

Byrd, a 5-10 guard, is rated as a 4-Star player by Prospects Nation and played her AAU ball for the Atlanta Celtics. Named to the 4A All-Region Team as a junior, Byrd averaged 13.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 3.3 steals and 3.3 assists en route to picking up numerous accolades including, MVP of the Chuck Miller Classic, All-Tournament Team at the Hoopfest Basketball Classic and Team Best All-Around Player (as voted by players and coaches). Byrd has 919 points and nearly 600 rebounds heading into her senior year.

Ranked 162nd and 155th overall by All-Star Girls Report and The Collegiate Girls Basketball Report, respectively, Partlow played AAU for Cincinnati’s Finest. The 6-1 forward averaged 18.5 points and 9.5 rebounds last season as a junior.

Turner, rated as a 4-Star player by Prospects Nation, currently plays at Hoover High School after transferring from Canton McKinley. Ranked as the 71st best player in the country by Blue Star Report, the 5-7 point guard averaged 18 points, 4.8 boards, 3.5 steals and 2.2 assists last season. A 2012-13 All-Ohio selection and the 2012-2013 Federal League leading scorer at Canton McKinley, Turner set the Canton McKinley three-point record for single game (7) and single season (52) and currently has 1,007 career points.

Fincher, a 5-11 guard, is ranked 151st in the country by Blue Star Report and played her AAU ball for the Cincinnati Angels. She averaged 18.5 points, on 47 percent shooting from the field, and nearly 11 rebounds per game last year as the Lady Cav’s won their second straight Class 1A Indiana State Championship (2012, 2013). A 2013 Journal-Gazette All-Northeast Indiana first team honoree that was selected to play in the Indiana vs. Kentucky Junior All-Star Game, Fincher owns the Indiana state finals record for most rebounds with 19.

Musketeer fans can follow Xavier women’s basketball on the program’s Twitter (@Xavier_WBB) and Instagram (@Xavier_WBB) accounts and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Xavierwbb.