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Xavier's new head coach earns first win with 79-75 overtime victory at Michigan

Updated: Thursday, November 14 2013, 12:28 PM EST
ANN ARBOR, Mich. (WKRC) -- Seniors Shatyra Hawkes (Baltimore, Md./St. Frances Academy) and Ashley Wanninger (Cincinnati, Ohio/Colerain HS) combined for 48 points to lead the Xavier women’s basketball team to a huge 79-75 overtime victory over B1G opponent Michigan Wednesday night at the Crisler Center.

With the win, XU improves to 1-1 overall and gives new head coach Brian Neal his first win as the leader of the program (first win as a Division I coach), while U-M falls to 1-2 on the season. The Blue and White are now 7-13 against Big Ten opponents and 3-4 against Michigan.

“The win is not for me, it’s for us,” said Neal. “I probably had the smallest role in this whole thing. I’m really proud of the way our players responded after the Ohio game, where we felt like we left a lot of plays out there. Over the last two or three days we’ve become a lot tougher and a lot more mentally focused and that showed up on the defensive end today.”

Hawkes finished with a career-high 27 points on 7-of-20 shooting from the field and 5-of-14 from behind the arc. The Baltimore, Md. native also added six rebounds and five assists in 34 minutes. Wanninger recorded a career-best 21 points to go with seven rebounds and three assists. She also tied a career-high with four three-point makes.
Sophomore Briana Glover (Mason, Ohio/Mason) chipped in with 10 points off the bench, while classmate Aliyah Zantt (Reynoldsburg, Ohio/Reynoldsburg HS) added eight points in 28 minutes. In her second collegiate contest, freshman Leah Schaefer (Alexandria, Ky./Highlands HS) nearly registered her first career double-double, finishing with nine points and nine boards.

Nicole Elmblad finished with 19 points, 12 rebounds and five assists to lead the Wolverines.

Michigan jumped on XU early, grabbing an 18-13 advantage 9:53 into the opening period. The Musketeers responded with a 15-2 run, highlighted by triples from Wanninger, Zantt and Hawkes, to grab a 28-20 lead (6:28).
 
The Wolverines didn’t fold and closed the half with a 12-4 run over the final six minutes to tie the game at 32-32 heading into the locker room at the intermission. U-M shot 48.3 percent (14-for-29) from the floor to Xavier's 34.4 percent (11-for-32). The Musketeers hit six three-pointers to U-M's one in the half, leading to the tie score at the break.
 
A three-point play by Schaefer gave XU a 45-44 lead with 14:53 left in the second period. Michigan then employed a 9-2 run over the next 2:39 to take a 53-47 advantage. The Musketeers answered with five straight points to climb back within a point (53-52) with 11:34 remaining.
Neither team took more than a five-point lead the rest of the contest and Xavier was able to tie the game with 23 seconds remaining when sophomore Jenna Crittendon (Union, Ky./Ryle) hit Glover with a perfect pass on a back cut.

After a scramble under the U-M basket, the refs needed to use the replay system to determine possession. Michigan was awarded the ball out of bounds underneath its own basket with 3.4 seconds to play and the score tied at 69 in regulation. Following a Michigan timeout, Cyesha Goree's jumper in the lane rolled around the rim but did not fall, sending the game into overtime.

Michigan scored the first four points of the overtime period (73-69), but the Musketeers answered with an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of treys from Hawkes, for a four-point lead (77-73) with 2:09 left.
Madison Ristovski brought the home team back within a basket with a 17-foot jumper with 1:07 left. After an empty possession, Michigan fouled, with Hawkes missing two free throws with 21 seconds remaining.

U-M had the ball out of bounds on the sideline with 7.8 second remaining but Hawkes intercepted the inbounds pass and was fouled immediately. She cashed in on both free throws to give the Musketeers a 79-75 Xavier advantage. The Blue and White prevented Michigan scoring again and went on to win by the final margin.

Information and photo courtesy Xavier University AthleticsXavier's new head coach earns first win with 79-75 overtime victory at Michigan


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