Butler women’s basketball falls to Xavier in conference opener

Whitney Jennings looks to pass the ball to a teammate. Jennings finished with a game-high 25 points. Collegian file photo.

CHRIS BROWN | STAFF REPORTER | cbbrown@butler.edu

The Butler University women’s basketball team couldn’t complete a fourth-quarter comeback at home, falling to Xavier University 69-62 in their first conference game of the season on Dec. 29. The Bulldogs are now 8-5 on the year after their four-game winning streak was snapped.

Butler got off to a slow start in the contest, with Xavier limiting the Bulldogs to just seven points in the first quarter while scoring 19. After shooting just 15 percent from the field in the first ten minutes, the Bulldogs knocked down 57 percent of their shots in the second quarter and went on a 15-6 scoring run to end the half trailing by just two points.

The Musketeers made eight 3-pointers in the first half, shooting 44 percent from beyond the arc, while the Bulldogs made just one of six 3-point shots. Redshirt junior guard Whitney Jennings made just one of nine shots from the field in the first half, while junior center Tori Schickel was limited to just four shots in the first 20 minutes.

Xavier reestablished a sizeable lead in the third quarter, widening the deficit to as many as 17 points. The Musketeers outshot Butler 70 percent to 18 percent from the field and added three 3-pointers to take a 14-point lead into the final quarter.

The Bulldogs began to chip away at Xavier’s lead in the final ten minutes, going on a 7-0 scoring run midway through the fourth quarter to bring the Musketeers’ lead to seven points. Butler would get within three points with roughly 30 seconds to play, but wasn’t able to complete the comeback.

Jennings led Butler with a game-high 25 points, and was 10-10 from the free throw line. Sophomore guard Kristen Spolyar collected 15 points off the bench and made two of Butler’s three 3-pointers, while Schickel led the Bulldogs with a game-high eight rebounds and tallied 10 points. 

For the game, Xavier outshot Butler 43 percent to 32 percent from the field. The Musketeers knocked down 11 shots from beyond the arc, compared to just three from the Bulldogs. Butler was also out-rebounded 40-33.The Bulldogs will look to pick up their first Big East win when they face Villanova University on the road Jan. 2.

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