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Xavier battles but falls to Creighton, 70-61

CINCINNATI (WKRC) -- Senior guard Ashley Wanninger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain) scored a game-high 21 points as the Xavier womens basketball team fell to Creighton, 70-61, in BIG EAST Conference action at Cintas Center Tuesday night. Creighton hit a season-high 14 three-pointers in the game.

With the loss, the Musketeers fall to 8-18 overall and 3-10 in BIG EAST play, while the Bluejays improve to 16-10 on the season and 10-4 in conference.

Wanninger shot 8-of-11 from the field and knocked down 3-of-4 shots from behind the arc to finished with 21 points. She also finished with three rebounds. It is the fourth game this season that she has scored 20 points or more.

Three other Musketeers scored in double digits. Sophomore forward Briana Glover (Mason, Ohio/Mason) scored 13 points and grabbed three boards. Sophomore guard Aliyah Zantt (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg HS) finished with nine points, two assists and a career-high eight rebounds. Freshman guard Kayla Davis (Brampton, Ontario/St. Marguerite d'Youville) scored 10 points, four rebounds and tied her career-high in assists with five.

Both teams offenses started out relatively slow. The Musketeers and Bluejays each had only five points at the under-16 minute media timeout. After that, the offenses started to heat up, particularly Creighton from behind the arc. The Bluejays initiated an 8-0 run including a pair of threes over 1:15 to go up 13-5.

Xavier did not relent, as a Zantt three-pointer and a Wanninger steal and layup cut Creightons lead to three with 3:51 remaining. However, Creighton, who was 9-of-19 from long-distance in the first half, hit another pair and went into the locker room with a 41-33 lead.

The Musketeers started hot in the second half, going on a 6-0 run including a Wanninger three to cut the lead to 44-41 with 17:07 remaining. A few plays later, Wanninger hit another trey to give Xavier its first lead since the first half, at 44-41. After the Bluejays retook the lead, Davis hit a three to put the Blue & White up 56-54 with 8:44 left to play.

Creightons three-point display from the first half returned, as a trio of Bluejays hit four straight from behind the arc that gave the team a 12-1 run and a 68-59 lead with 2:51 remaining. That lead would hold as Creighton went on to pick up the 70-61 victory.

The Bluejays were led by a pair of guards in their victory. Sammy Jensen and Marissa Janning each scored 17 points. Jensen hit 5-of-11 threes, grabbed three boards and had 1 assist. Janning nailed three behind the arc and also had seven assists and five rebounds.

The Musketeers shot 18-of-43 (41.9 percent) from the field and 6-of-15 (40 percent) from behind the arc. The Bluejays finished with a 39.3 field goal percentage (24-of-61) including nailing 14-of-33 (42.4 percent) from behind the arc. Coming into the game, Creighton had a .310 three-point field goal percentage.

The Blue and Whites next game will be in Providence, R.I., as the team will take on the Providence Friars at 2 p.m. on Feb. 22.

Information and photo courtesy XU Athletics



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