Courtesy of GoXavier.com
CINCINNATI – Raeshaun Gaffney and Aliyah Zantt combined for 55 points to lead the Xavier women’s basketball team over St. John’s, 74-61, on Sunday afternoon at Cintas Center. The game served as Senior Day for the Musketeers lone senior, Maleeka Kynard.
With the regular-season finale win, the Musketeers improved to 16-13 (8-10 BIG EAST) on the year – doubling their win total from a year ago. The victory also solidified Xavier’s first winning campaign since 2010-11. St. John’s dropped to 20-9 (11-7 BIG EAST) with the loss.
Zantt topped her career high in scoring for the third straight game as the junior guard scored 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, while going 3-of-4 from behind the arc. The Reynoldsberg, Ohio, native also tied her career high in steals with six.
Gaffney tied her career high with 23 points on 9-of-13 shooting. The sophomore guard scored 17 points in the second period, going 6-of-9 from the floor.
After trailing 31-23 at the break, the Musketeers hit 51.6 percent of their shot attempts to outscore the Red Storm, 51-30, in the second stanza. Xavier hit six of its first seven shot attempts in the second half to engineer a 14-4 run to take its first lead, 37-35, since the opening minutes of the first half.
The Musketeers did not trail for the remainder of the contest and built their first double-figure lead, 64-54, with 3:31 on the clock. Xavier led by as many as 15, 74-59, with 38 seconds remaining in the game.
Xavier was 16-of-19 from the charity stripe in the second half and finished the game 18-of-25. The Musketeers were also 25-of-54 from the floor and 6-of-16 from behind the arc.
Jenna Crittendon added 16 points for the Musketeers to go along with a game-high eight rebounds. XU won the battle on the glass, 35-34.
Aliyyah Handford led three St. John’s players in double figures with 18 points to go along with a team-high seven rebounds. Jade Walker added 15 points and Danaejah had 10.
The Musketeers had 13 steals and forced 17 turnovers, converting the miscues into 18 points. Xavier also had 17 second-chance points.
The Musketeers return to action on Saturday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m. in the opening round of the BIG EAST Tournament. No. 7 seed Xavier takes on No. 10 Georgetown at Allstate Arena in Rosemont, Ill.
# xavier university athletics #