Courtesy of GoXavier.com
CINCINNATI – The Xavier women’s basketball team won its sixth consecutive home on Sunday afternoon as the Musketeers defeated Providence, 71-59, at Cintas Center. The Musketeers have now won three straight BIG EAST games, moving their record to 10-4 (3-1 BIG EAST).
Chanise Baldwin scored the first six points of the game for Providence as the Friars (4-11; 1-3 BIG EAST) led 6-5 with three and a half minutes gone from the game. Xavier responded with an 11-3 run capped by back-to-back three pointers by Maleeka Kynard to take a 16-9 advantage with 11:53 on the clock.
The Friars scored nine unanswered points to start a 14-2 run and take their largest lead of the period, 23-18, at the 6:28mark. Xavier forced five of the Friars 12, first-half turnovers over the next five minutes to fuel a 17-3 run and take its largest lead of the half, 35-26. All told, Xavier scored 16 points off of turnovers in the first half. Providence scored the final three points of the period to make the score 35-29 heading into the locker room.
Jenna Crittendon led Xavier in scoring at the break with nine points, while Anniina Äijänen and Kynard both had six. Baldwin led the Friars with 12 points on 5-of-6 shooting. Providence held an 18-16 advantage on the glass at intermission.
The Musketeers never trailed in the second half with the Friars getting as close as one, 42-41, with 13:35 on the clock. Back-to-back free throws by Leah Schaefer with 6:33 left in regulation gave the Musketeers their first double-figure lead, 57-47.
Providence battled back to get within five twice down the stretch, with the last time coming at the 1:15 mark on an Alison Lewis jumper. Xavier closed the contest on a 7-0 run, going 7-of-8 from the foul line to seal the 71-59 victory.
Xavier finished the game 30-of-37 from the charity stripe, led by Briana Glover who was 7-of-7. The junior forward scored a game-high 17 points with three rebounds and two steals.
Kynard chipped in a career-high 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting with three 3-pointers. The senior guard added five assists and four rebounds. Crittendon rounded out the double-figure scorers with 10 points.
Schaefer grabbed a team-high seven rebounds to go along with eight points and five assists for XU. Providence won the battle on the glass, 39-35.
Baldwin led the Friars with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. Karin Robinson contributed 12 points and a team-high five assists.
Xavier finished the game with 12 steals, converting the miscues into 23 points. XU has now had six games on the year with 10 or more steals.
The Musketeers return to action at Seton Hall on Friday, Jan. 9 at 7 p.m.