CINCINNATI - The Xavier women's basketball team is set to close out its December homestand Tuesday as it plays host to UNCW. Tip-off between the Musketeers and Seahawks is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 18 at Cintas Center. Please bring an unwrapped gift or new/gently used coat for donation and receive at $5 ticket for admission.
About the Musketeers Xavier (4-5) came up short, 66-65, to Wright State Saturday afternoon at Cintas Center in its only game of the week. The Musketeers rank in the top six teams in the Atlantic 10 in several categories including: second in defensive rebounds (27.9), third in defensive rebounding percentage (.711), fourth in scoring offense (65.3), fifth in field goal percentage (.408) and sixth in free throw percentage (.720) and 3-point field goal percentage (.323).
XU is led offensively by senior Amber Gray who is averaging 11.7 ppg. (19th A-10) and shoots at a team-best .529 clip. Junior Shatyra Hawkes also averages double-figures scoring with 11.1 ppg. and dishes out a team-high 4.0 apg. (10th A-10) while sinking 80.8 percent of her free throw shots (8th A-10). Sophomore Lakeisha Crouch is the team's leading rebounder grabbing 7.1 boards per contest (14th A-10) while junior Ashley Wanninger is lethal from downtown averaging 2.1 3-point baskets per game (6th A-10) and a .404 3-point field goal percentage (6th A-10).
Scouting UNCW UNCW (1-6) is currently suffering through a three-game losing streak after dropping an 84-34 contest at Liberty on Dec. 8. This will be the Seahawks' third road game in their last four contests and the sixth game away from home for the season. As a team, UNCW ranks second in the Colonial Athletic Association in defensive rebounding (27.6) and seventh in field goal percentage defense (.389) and 3-point field goals made (4.3).
The Seahawks are led by Kelva Atkins with 11.6 ppg. (14th CAA) and Jessica Freeman with 10.0 ppg. (19th CAA) - both players 2.3 apg. as well. Karneshia Garrett leads the CAA with 11.7 boards per contest while Jovana Mandic is the team's leading blocker with 2.3 bpg. (2nd CAA).
The Series Xavier and UNCW have only previously met once, Dec. 29 of last season. The Seahawks claimed the 59-52 decision in Wilmington nearly a year ago and hold the 1-0 lead in the series. The game at UNCW was Lakeisha Crouch's first in a Musketeer uniform after returning to action following several surgeries to repair her knee.
Last Time Out After leading by as many as 15 in the first half, the Musketeers gave up a 23-4 run in the second half, falling behind to the visiting Wright State Raiders. Although there were four ties and five lead changes in the game, WSU came out on top to claim the narrow 66-65 win Saturday evening at Cintas Center. Senior Amber Gray led the Musketeers with 18 points while freshman Jenna Crittendon grabbed a career- and game-high 17 boards to go with a career-high seven assists. Sophomore Lakeisha Crouch tallied her second double-double of the season with 10 points and 11 rebounds.