Pirates Defeat Resilient Xavier in CincyDate: January 10, 2018
(Photo: SHU Athletics)
By: Chris Russo
Although Xavier was able to keep pace with the Pirates for much of the game, it was The Hall that pulled out a 62-51 win at the Cintas Center.
The Pirates improved their record to 2-4 in the Big East and 10-7 overall, distancing themselves from the Musketeers and trying to get back into the thick of things during the conference schedule.
Seton Hall led for the majority of the contest, and never trailed in the second half. Xavier was relentless, tying the game at 40 in the third quarter, but the Pirates ended the game on a 22-11 run.
The Pirates were certainly the better team, with Donnaizha Fountain leading the pack offensively with 17 points. Taylor Brown and JaQuan Jackson held their own with 10 points apiece to complement Fountain's performance.
The Pirates' defensive presence centered on the trio of Inja Butina, Shadeen Samuels, and Kimi Evans. Butina again telegraphed passes, recording a game-high four steals, while the specialists Samuels and Evans each picked up a pair of blocks. However, the most important statistic was the 25 turnovers by Xavier. The Musketeers struggled without the presence of Na'Teshia Owens, second on the team in assists entering the game. Without Owens, Xavier coach Brian Neal tried to make due by alternating between Aaliyah Dunham and Princess Stewart at point guard. The two combined for five assists, while they turned over the ball 10 times.
Xavier's lack of experience (two juniors, two seniors on the roster) did not help, with the notable exception of Deja Ross. The freshman led the team with 14 points, and went 4-for-4 from downtown. She also contributed on the back end, with all four of her rebounds coming on her end of the court.
The Pirates' next game is Friday, January 12 at Walsh Gymnasium vs. Villanova.
Chris Russo can be reached at email@example.com.