Women’s basketball vs. Xavier: Beyond the box score

Graduate Rachel McLimore attempts a free throw in the win against Xavier. Photo by Lauren Gdowski. 

MATTHEW CRANE | SPORTS CO-EDITOR | mcrane@butler.edu

The Butler women’s basketball team defeated the Xavier Musketeers 60-43 to pick up their third straight win. The Bulldogs were led by sophomore forward Sydney Jaynes who led all scorers with 16 points. Graduate guard/forward Rachel McLimore scored 15 points to round out the double-digit scorers. The Dawgs got out to a quick start with a 10-point lead after the first quarter and never trailed. 

The Musketeers were led by senior Courtney Prenger who scored 12 points. Xavier’s other four starters combined to score 10 points on the night. A lone positive on the night for the Musketeers was their rebounding effort as they outrebounded the Dawgs 30-29.  

Let’s go beyond the box score to recap the win over the Musketeers. 


Owning the paint

The Bulldogs were dominant down low as they scored 32 points in the paint. Xavier had no answers on defense and were unable to stop the Dawgs. They allowed Butler to finish 14-19 on layups in the game. 

Their effort in the paint also led to the Bulldogs getting to the free-throw line. The team shot 16-18 from the line compared to Xavier shooting 4-6. While a free-throw disparity is typically a bad sign for the officials, this game was indicative of Xavier being forced to foul because they had no way to prevent Butler from scoring. 

The one area of the game that Butler struggled in was their three-point shooting. They shot 22% which is well below their season average of 37.8% from three. Normally, when the team has started off strong with their paint presence, it has opened up the rest of the court. In this game, the Dawgs were never able to get going from three. 


Double-digit wins 

With this win, the Bulldogs reached 10 wins on the season. This is huge for a program that was coming off a one-win season and a three-win season the year before. With the coaching change, it was expected that there would be a process to get the program back on track.

The fact that this number was hit so quickly is a credit to head coach Austin Parkinson and the rest of the coaching staff. Learning a new offense takes time and building a culture is not a quick fix overnight. Once players buy into the system, camaraderie off the court can help translate to wins on the court.

This three-game winning streak matches the streak from earlier in the season from Nov. 21- 26. If the Dawgs can bring this momentum into their last two regular-season games and the Big East Tournament, they can build into next season.


Looking ahead

The Bulldogs will look to continue their winning streak as they host the Seton Hall Pirates for Senior Night on Feb. 24. The Pirates are coming off a 72-59 win over Xavier. This will be the second matchup between the two teams as the Pirates defeated the Bulldogs 79-45 on Dec. 31. 


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