Butler upsets Xavier to begin women’s Big East tournament

Tori Schickel puts a shot up under the rim. Collegian file photo.

COLLIN PERRY l STAFF REPORTER l ccperry@butler.edu

The Butler University women’s basketball earned a back-and-forth victory over Xavier University March 4, beating the Musketeers 68-66 in the first round of the Big East tournament.

Sophomore guard Michelle Weaver made the game winning shot with seven seconds left.

Both teams started off strong offensively, with Butler leading Xavier 24-20 after the first quarter. The Bulldogs would cool off in the second quarter, and the Musketeers closed the gap, trailing 35-34 at halftime.

The game was close throughout the third quarter with seven lead changes in the 10 minutes of gameplay. The quarter ended with a tip-in from Xavier’s Anniina Aijanen, which gave the Musketeers a 53-52 lead heading into the final quarter.

The game remained close with Xavier leading 64-61 with 2:10 left. However, junior guard Sydney Buck hit a three pointer to tie the game. Xavier’s Marquia Turner followed with a shot to give the Musketeers a 66-64 left, but Tori Schickel answered with two free throws to tie it once more.

Schickel would steal a pass with 41 seconds left. After Weaver missed a layup attempt, the Bulldogs called timeout.

Weaver hit the game winning  jumper to give Butler a two-point lead with just seconds remaining. Xavier did get a shot to tie the game and force overtime, but Marquia Turners’ contested layup did not go.

Xavier won the rebound battle 25-20, but the Bulldogs outscored the Musketeers in second-chance points 15-6. Butler won the turnover battle, forcing 15 turnovers while only having 12 giveaways. This led to the Bulldogs outscoring the Musketeers 13-7 off turnovers.

The Bulldogs were led by Schickel, who contributed 28 points and 14 rebounds. Weaver was the only other Butler player in double-digits with 15 points. The Bulldogs converted seven of 19 three point attempts for 36 percent, while the Musketeers were just 3 for 16 from beyond the arch and did not hit a three in the second half.

The women’s team advances to the Big East tournament quarterfinals on March 5. They play the No. 2 seed Creighton University Bluejays at 1p.m. ET in Milwaukee. It will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 2 and can be streamed online on Fox Sports Go.

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