@Xavier_WBB Returns To Cintas Center To Host Murray State

Senior Shatyra Hawkes leads XU in scoring.

Senior Shatyra Hawkes leads XU in scoring.

Dec. 3, 2013


Game #8 - Xavier (3-4) vs. Murray State (5-2)

Game Notes:
Xavier Notes (PDF)
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
7:00 p.m.
Cincinnati, Ohio
Cintas Center (10,250)
Live Stats:
Live Video:
Mike Schmaltz (P-B-B), Rich Hoyt (Analyst)
@Xavier_WBB | @XavierGameday
Twitter Hashtags:
Current Streak:
L 1
Last 5:
Home Record:
vs. the OVC:
vs. Murray State:
2nd Meeting; XU leads 1-0
Up Next:
 vs. Austin Peay - Dec. 7 (7:00 p.m.)

The Musketeers, fresh off their trip to the Virgin Islands for the 2013 Paradise Jam (Nov. 28-30), will look to get back to their winning ways when they host the Racers of Murray State on Wednesday, Dec. 4 at Cintas Center. Mike Schmaltz and Rich Hoyt will have the call on GoXavier.com for the contest that is set to tip at 7 p.m.

Head Coach:
Brian Neal (Northern Kentucky `91)
Career Record:
174-35 (8th Season)
Record at Xavier:
3-4 (1st Season)

Head Coach: Rob Cross (Murray State `91)
Career Record:
79-80 (6th Season)
Record at MSU:

Following Wednesday night's matchup with Murray State, the Blue and White will host Austin Peay (Dec. 7). 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.

- The Racers are currently the only OVC team with a winning record at 5-2, while UT Martin and Austin Peay are currently .500 on the year at 4-4 and 3-3, respectively. However, the rest of the league currently has a losing record, including the entire East Division.

- The second NCAA Division I statistical rankings of the season were released Monday and Murray State made several appearances. The Racers are currently 28th in the nation in turnovers per game at 13.2 and 26th in 3-point defense and are holding opponents to 23.8 percent from beyond the arc. MSU is also 22 in field-goal percentage defense at 33.0 and fifth in the country in 3-pointers made per game at 9.8, down one spot from last week.

- Through seven games so far this season, Murray State has received a significant boost from its bench in every contest. The MSU bench has scored at least 29 points in five of seven contests this season and is currently averaging 29.6 points per game. The bench's high this season came against Saint Louis with 40, while the low of 15 came at Western Kentucky

- The Racers have allowed opponents' benches to score more than 25 points just once in seven games and have held those benches to 10 or less points twice. The Racers are currently holding opposing benches to an average of 16.4 points per contest. The most MSU has allowed an opponent's bench this season was 28 against Robert Morris-Springfield, while the least it has allowed to opposing subs is seven at Evansville.

#3 Shatyra Hawkes (G)

• Set a career-high in points (27) at Michigan (Nov. 13)
• 5th in the BIG EAST in points per game (17.9)
• Named to the 2013 Paradise Jam All-Tournament team
#13 Ashley Wanninger (G)

• Shooting .700 from the charity stripe
• 10th in the BIG EAST in minutes per game (32.7)
• t-10th in the BIG EAST in 3-pointers made per game (1.7)
#35 Jenna Crittendon (G)

• Set a career-high in points (25) at Ohio (Nov. 10)
• 2nd on the team and 13th in the BIG EAST in rebounds per game (6.3)
• Third on the team in scoring (11.4)
#14 Briana Glover (F)

• Averaging 24.6 minutes per contest
• Shooting .769 from the free-throw line
• 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 .471 from the field
• Grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds vs. Kansas

Shatyra Hawkes was named to the 2013 Paradise Jam All-Tournament team for her performances during the three-day event. She averaged 13.0 ppg, 3.3 rebounds and 4.0 assists in 28.0 minutes of action. The senior point guard also shot .432 from the field and .400 from behind the arc.

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 was split into two divisions, the Island Division and Reef Division. XU played in the Island Division along with Central Michigan, Kansas and Duke. The Reef Division featured Texas, Texas A&M, Memphis and Syracuse.

In game one (Nov. 28), sophomore Jenna Crittendon finished with a team-high points as the Musketeers team fell to #2/2 Duke, 81-54, at the University of the Virgin Islands. Senior Shatyra Hawkes chipped in with 10 points and a team-high six assists.

Xavier women's basketball's version of the `Big 3', Ashley Wanninger Hawkes and Crittendon, combined for 45 points and 11 rebounds as the Musketeers knocked off Big XII foe Kansas, 64-59, Friday afternoon (Nov. 29) on day two of the 2013 Paradise Jam.

In the finale at the Paradise Jam (Nov. 30), freshman Kayla Davis scored a career-high 13 points as the Blue and White fell to Central Michigan, 88-62.

The Musketeers appearance in the Paradise Jam marked 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.

Seniors Shatyra Hawkes and Ashley Wanninger give XU one of the top scoring tandems in the conference. The duo is averaging a combined 30.2 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists per game.

BIG EAST Top Scoring Tandems
Handford/Brown (SJU) - 36.8 ppg
Plouffe/Ojulu (Marquette) - 36.1 ppg
Richardson-Smith/Simmons (Seton Hall) - 35.0 ppg
Rule/Harris (Providence) - 32.5 ppg
Butler/Cooper (Georgetown) - 32.3 ppg
Stratman/McClung (Butler) - 31.1 ppg
HAWKES/WANNINGER (Xavier) - 30.2 ppg

• The duo has reached double figures in same game three times this season with Xavier going 3-2 in those contests.

Shatyra Hawkes, Ashley Wanninger and Jenna Crittendon have combined to account for 60.6 percent (41.6 points per game) of Xavier's scoring. The trio is also shooting .387 (91-of-235) from the floor and .324 (36-of-111) from long distance.

Out of the 13 Division I schools in the state of Ohio, the Musketeers (3-4) rank t-4th for the most victories in the state (thru games played on Dec. 2).

School                     Record
BGSU                   7-1
Wright St.             7-2
Ohio St.                6-3
Ohio                     3-3
Akron                   3-4
Toledo                  3-3
Xavier                     3-4

Cleveland St.         3-4
Dayton                 2-3
Cincinnati              2-4
Kent St.                2-5
Youngstown St.      1-4
Miami (OH)            1-5

After falling to No. 2/2 Duke at the Paradise Jam (Nov. 28), Xavier stands at 11-31 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)

XU is 162-48 over its 210-game run at Cintas Center since it opened prior to the 2000-01 season.

The Musketeers won their 150th game at Cintas Center with a 71-66 victory over visiting Morehead State on Dec. 6, 2011 (100th victory was 69-52 over Penn State 1/30/08).  

Since the 2004-05 season, XU is 50-31 following a loss, including a 7-9 mark following a loss during the 2012-13 season.

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.

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 Cavs 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.