@Xavier_WBB Set To Play in 2013 U.S. Virgin Islands Paradise Jam

Head Coach Brian Neal

Head Coach Brian Neal

Nov. 27, 2013

The Last Meeting
Duke82
Xavier59
November 25, 2012
Cintas Center
No. 4/4 Duke Outlasts Women's Basketball, 82-59
The Xavier Musketeers suffered an 82-59 setback to the #4/4 Duke Blue Devils Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center. Junior Ashley Wanninger tied a career-high with 15 points and added three rebounds and two steals.

The Last Meeting
Xavier76
Kansas71
November 26, 2009
Grand Bahama Island
Amber Harris's 22 Keys No. 9/10 Women's Basketball's 76-71 Win Over No. 18/23 Kansas
Musketeer standout Amber Harris scored 22 points to lead four teammates in double-figures as the No. 9/10 Xavier University women's basketball team defeated No. 19/23 Kansas, 76-71, on Thanksgiving Day at the Junkanoo Jam on Grand Bahama Island. With the win, XU improves to a perfect 4-0 on the season while the Jayhawks slip to 3-1.

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XAVIER TOURNAMENT NOTES (PDF)

TOURNAMENT CENTRAL
Game #1 - Xavier vs. #2/#2 Duke
Date:
Thursday, November 28
Time:
1:15 P.M. ET
Site:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – USVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,500)
Live Stats (Mobile Phone):
http://jam.statb.us
Live Video:
ParadiseJam.com, Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1, YouTube
Live Audio: GoXavier.com
Talent:
Mike Schmaltz (P-B-B)
Twitter:
@Xavier_WBB | @XavierGameday | @paradisejam
Twitter Hashtags:
#LetsGoX #ParadiseJam
vs. ACC: 23-20
vs. Duke: 5th Meeting; Duke leads, 3-1

Game #2 - Xavier vs. Kansas
Date:
Friday, November 29
Time:
3:30 P.M. ET
Site:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – USVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,500)
Live Stats:
ParadiseJamStats.com
Live Stats (Mobile Phone):
http://jam.statb.us
Live Video:
ParadiseJam.com, Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1, YouTube
Live Audio:
GoXavier.com
Talent:
Mike Schmaltz (P-B-B)
Twitter:
@Xavier_WBB | @XavierGameday | @paradisejam
Twitter Hashtags:
#LetsGoX #ParadiseJam
vs. Big 12:
4-3
vs. Kansas:
4th Meeting; Xavier leads, 2-1

Game #3 - Xavier vs. Central Michigan
Date:
Saturday, November 30
Time:
1:15 P.M. ET
Site:
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – USVI Sports and Fitness Center (3,500)
Live Stats:
ParadiseJamStats.com
Live Stats (Mobile Phone):
http://jam.statb.us
Live Video:
ParadiseJam.com, Facebook.com/ParadiseJam1, YouTube
Live Audio: GoXavier.com
Talent:
Mike Schmaltz (P-B-B)
Twitter:
@Xavier_WBB | @XavierGameday | @paradisejam
Twitter Hashtags:
#LetsGoX #ParadiseJam
vs. Mid-American Conference: 16-29
vs. Central Michigan:
5th Meeting; Tied 2-2

AT A GLANCE
The Musketeers, who fell to Longwood, 67-64, in their last outing (Nov. 21), will look to get back to their winning ways when they head south to St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands to participate in the 2013 Paradise Jam from Nov. 28-30. Xavier will face No. 2 Duke (Nov. 28), Kansas (Nov. 29) and Central Michigan (Nov. 30) during the event.

All three games will be on the Jayhawk Radio Network with Mike Schmaltz handling play-by-play. Additionally, Musketeer fans can watch all of the games (FREE) or follow live stats by visiting ParadiseJam.com.

LAST TIME OUT: VS. LONGWOOD (NOV. 21) - @Xavier_WBB Comeback Bid Falls Short Against Longwood, 67-64
The Xavier women’s basketball team fell to the Longwood Lancers 67-64 Thursday night at Cintas Center. Senior Shatyra Hawkes finished with a team-high 20 points to go with four rebounds and three assists. • Four Xavier players scored in double digits in the loss. Sophomore guard Jenna Crittendon scored 12 points and tied the team-lead in rebounds with seven. Sophomore Aliyah Zantt chipped in 11 points, four rebounds and two steals, while freshman forward Leah Schaefer poured in a career-high 11 points and led the team in steals (four) and blocks (three). • The Muskeeters shot 41.1 percent (23-of-56) from the floor and hit 3-of-17 from behind the arc. The Musketeers also forced 20 turnovers, recorded nine steals and had nine assists on 23 made baskets. The Blue and White also had 36 points in the paint and eight fast-break points. • Longwood shot 42.1 percent (24-of-57), but Xavier’s perimeter defense held the Lancers to 18.8% (3-of-16) from three-point territory.

UP NEXT
Following the Paradise Jam, the Blue and White will return 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.

@XAVIER_WBB STARTING 5 QUICK HITS
#3 Shatyra Hawkes (G)

• Set a career-high in points (27) at Michigan (Nov. 13)
• t-2nd in the BIG EAST in points per game (21.5)
• Shooting .433 from the field this season
#13 Ashley Wanninger (G)

• Shooting .700 from the charity stripe
• 10th in the BIG EAST in minutes per game (33.7)
• 8th in the BIG EAST in 3-pointers made per game (2.0)
#35 Jenna Crittendon (G)

• Set a career-high in points (25) at Ohio (Nov. 10)
• Leads the team and t-8th in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game (7.5)
• Third on the team in scoring (10.3)
#14 Briana Glover (F)

• Averaging 25.8 minutes per contest
• Shooting .440 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 .579 from the field

PARADISE JAM
The Paradise Jam Tournament began in 2000 and offers teams a chance to play top competition early in the season in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Paradise Jam is split into two divisions, the Island Division and Reef Division. XU is in the Island Division along with Central Michigan, Kansas and Duke. The Reef Division features Texas, Texas A&M, Memphis and Syracuse.

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands has been the host of the Paradise Jam since its inception in 2000. The Virgin Islands is an unincorporated territory of the United States located east of the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico in the Carribean Sea. The Virgin Islands is home to 106, 405 and Charlotte Amalie is the capital. The U.S. Virgin Islands consists of three islands: St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John.

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.

HONOR ROLLIN’
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.

SHAKE AND BAKE
Seniors Shatyra Hawkes and Ashley Wanninger give XU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 36.3 points, 10.3 rebounds and 5.6 assists per game.

BIG EAST Top Scoring Tandems
Handford/Brown (SJU) - 37.4 ppg
HAWKES/WANNINGER (Xavier) - 36.3 ppg
Rule/Harris (Providence) - 36.3 ppg
Richardson-Smith/Simmons (Seton Hall) - 36.2 ppg
Plouffe/Ojulu (Marquette) - 36.0 ppg

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

THE BIG 3
Shatyra Hawkes, Ashley Wanninger and Jenna Crittendon have combined to account for 62.1 percent (46.6 points per game) of Xavier’s scoring. The trio is also shooting .394 (56-of-142) from the floor and .306 (22-of-72) from long distance.

OHIO’S FINEST
Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Ohio, the Musketeers (2-2) rank t-6th for the most victories in the state (thru games played on Nov. 25).

School             Record
BGSU                 6-1
Wright St.           5-1
Ohio St.              5-2
Ohio                  3-1
Akron                 3-2
Xavier                 2-2

Toledo               2-2
Dayton               2-3
Youngstown St.    1-2
Cleveland St.      1-3
Miami (OH)         1-3
Cincinnati           1-3
Kent St.              1-4

MUSKETEERS VS. TOP 25 COMPETITION
Xavier stands at 11-30 (.268) all-time vs. teams ranked in the Associated Press Poll, including 0-2 last season. Xavier was 3-1 against ranked teams during the 2007-08 season, including a 65-55 win over then-No. 7 Georgia on January 6 2008. Georgia is the highest-ranked team XU has ever beaten at home and the Lady Bulldogs were the highest-ranked opponent XU had beaten since the team downed No. 3 Tennessee in the 2001 NCAA Mideast Regional semifinal. No. 3 Stanford is the highest-ranked opponent ever to play at Cintas Center (Nov. 25, 2011). 2007-08 marked the first year XU had beaten three ranked teams in a season since 1999-00. Xavier also knocked off three ranked teams in 2009-10 (3-2).

AWAY FROM CINTAS CENTER
Xavier owns an 83-57 record away from Cintas Center since 2002-03, including 52-28 (.650) in conference road games.

NEW LEADER
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.

NEW LOOK MUSKETEERS
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.

PICKING UP PRESEASON HARDWARE
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).

NLI REPORT
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.

FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL MEDIA
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.