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Big day from Hawkes leads Xavier to first BIG EAST win

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Led by a game-high 20 points from senior Shatyra Hawkes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy), the Xavier womens basketball team defeated St. Johns 70-65 to snap a four-game losing streak and pick up the programs first BIG EAST Conference win on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center.

With the win the Musketeers improved to 6-8 overall (1-1 BIG EAST) and snapped The Red Storms three-game winning streak. St. Johns fell to 8-5 after the loss (1-1 BIG EAST).

The Blue and White, who entered the contest ranked fourth in the conference in three-point field goals per game (6.0), knocked down 10-of-22 shots from behind the arc, highlighted by a trio of trifectas from sophomores Jenna Crittendon (Union, Ky./Ryle).

Hawkes shot 6-of-8 from the field, 2-of-3 from behind the arc and 6-of-9 from the charity stripe to finish with 20 points. She also added two rebounds and three assists in 34 minutes. Senior Ashley Wanninger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) finished two rebounds shy of a double-double, ending the afternoon with a line of 13 points and eight rebounds. Freshman Leah Schaefer (Alexandria, Ky./Highlands HS) also finished with 13 points and four rebounds, while Crittendon registered with 11 points and seven boards.

Aliyyah Handford led SJU in scoring with 17 points, while Amber Thompson had a strong afternoon with 16 points and nine rebounds.

Xavier used on a 9-0 run early in the first half to jump out to a 14-8 lead. During that run Hawkes scored seven points, including a three pointer, a jumper, and a layup. XU held the lead and went ahead by as many as 10 points after Schaefer drained a triple with 16 seconds left in the first half. A quick layup by Amber Thompson with two seconds left put St. Johns within eight points of the Musketeers going into halftime, 36-28.

Both teams traded baskets in the second half. St. Johns used a 10-2 spurt to get within two points of XU midway through the second half. After more back-and-forth action, SJU came within one point of The Musketeers when Jade Walker finished a layup at the 5:38 mark (57-56). Xavier pulled away after Crittendon drained a three and Briana Glover (Mason, Ohio/Mason) made a layup with 4:27 left to increase the XU lead to 62-56. Xavier made its free throws down the stretch and pulled out a close victory over The Red Storm, 70-65. 

Xavier will continue its three-game BIG EAST homestand by taking on Georgetown Wednesday night (Jan. 8) and Marquette on Saturday afternoon (Jan. 11). The matchup with the Hoyas is set to tipoff at 7:00 P.M.

Information from XU Athletics



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