WBI Quarterfinal Preview: Siena vs. Xavier

2014-2015 womens team

Following their first postseason tournament appearance in a dozen years, the Siena women have advanced to the WBI Quarterfinals where they will face Xavier of the Big East Conference on Sunday. Tipoff at the Cintas Center in Cincinnati, Ohio is scheduled for 2 p.m. This is the first-ever meeting between the two teams.

“We’re facing a team in Xavier that’s really, really athletic and really tough at home,” said Siena coach Ali Jaques. “We’re definitely going to have to play our A game to compete with them, on the road, a Big East team.”

The No. 3 seeded Saints enter the game with a record of 20-12 following a 53-46 victory over Stony Brook in the WBI First Round on Thursday. The win marked the third postseason tournament victory in program history. The Saints continue their sensational season, now having improved their win total by 11 over last year, all while having played with just seven players for most of this season. The improvement ranks tied for 5th best in the nation.

Siena is led in scoring by senior Tehresa Coles and freshman Margot Hetzke who enter Sunday’s matchup each averaging 13.3 points per game.

Coles was named the MAAC Defensive Player of the Year and was an All-MAAC Second Team selection. Her 300 career steals ranks highest in Siena history and 4th most nationally amongst active players. She is one of just 4 players in MAAC history to reach 1,000 points, 500 rebounds, 300 steals and 250 assists. She is second on her team in rebounding with 5.1 per contest.

“The season, it’s almost like story book,” said Coles. “So much adversity we faced, and now we’re sitting here with 20 wins, playing in our second post season game. I don’t think anyone saw this coming. It’s just a humbling experience to be able to see that this is what we’ve earned. This is where we’re at and this is the opportunity that we have. It’s so exciting that we get to keep it going.”

Hetzke leads Siena in rebounding with 7.5 rebounds per game. She was chosen unanimously as the MAAC Rookie of the Year and was selected to the All-MAAC Third Team. She ranks sixth in the MAAC in scoring and 4th in rebounding.

Sophomore Meghan Donohue also averages in double figures with 10.2 points per game. She is third on the team in rebounding with 5.0 boards per contest and ranks second in the MAAC in field goal percentage with 50.9% shooting.

Siena’s seven active players all average over 20 minutes played per game.

The Saints are 11-3 on the road this season, ranked tied for seventh nationally in road wins entering the week.

If Siena were to win Sunday’s contest they would host the WBI Semifinals on Wednesday versus either No. 4 seed Mercer or No. 8 seed Marshall.

No. 2 seeded Xavier enters the game with a record of 18-14. They advanced with a 57-56 win over 7th seeded William & Mary in the WBI First Round on Thursday. The Musketeers finished 7th out of 10 teams in the Big East this season with a conference record of 8-10.

Xavier now has 10 more wins than a year ago and has secured the school’s first winning season since 2010-11.

Xavier is led in scoring by 6-1 junior forward Briana Glover who is averaging 11.0 points per game. She has scored in double figures 21 times this year. Glover has hit 52.6 percent (131-of-249) of her shot attempts this year to lead the Big East in field-goal percentage. She also ranks eighth in the conference in free-throw percentage (.723).

Raeshaun Gaffney, a 5-8 redshirt sophomore guard, ranks second on the team in scoring (10.5 ppg) and free-throw percentage (.759). She also ranks fifth in the Big East in free-throw percentage.

Xavier is 12-14 all-time in postseason games. The Musketeers are 8-10 in NCAA Tournament action and 3-4 in WNIT play . XU is now 1-0 in WBI play following its win over William & Mary.

Xavier and Siena had two common opponents this season, Binghamton and Monmouth. The Musketeers beat both schools once, while Siena went 2-0 against Monmouth and 1-0 against Binghamton.

RPI Rankings: Siena 168, Xavier 191.


Women’s Basketball Invitational

The Women’s Basketball Invitational provides a choice for postseason worthy Division I Women’s teams who wish to continue their season but who do not qualify for the NCAA tournament. The 16 team event will take place over two weeks with all games being played on campus sites. It is a single elimination tournament divided into two regions with 8 seeded teams in each. For more tournament information visit: www.womensbasketballinvitational.com

Xavier 2014-2015 Results:

November (5-1)

Nov. 15 WOFFORD W, 75-51


Nov. 20 VIRGINIA L, 71-62

Nov. 22 at Binghamton W, 89-71

Nov. 26 PRESBYTERIAN W, 45-43

Nov. 30 ROBERT MORRIS W, 70-65 (OT)


Dec. 3 at St. John’s * L, 65-42

Dec. 7 at Middle Tennessee L, 90-68

Dec. 10 MONMOUTH (N.J.) W, 61-45

Dec. 14 at Cincinnati W, 72-71

Dec. 20 LIPSCOMB W, 62-38

Dec. 22 at Kennesaw State L, 61-60

Dec. 30 at Marquette * W, 74-71


Jan. 2 CREIGHTON * W, 66-65

Jan. 4 PROVIDENCE * W, 71-59

Jan. 9 at Seton Hall * L, 78-54

Jan. 11 at DePaul * L, 84-61

Jan. 16 GEORGETOWN * W, 63-55

Jan. 18 VILLANOVA * L, 54-34

Jan. 25 BUTLER * L, 58-54

Jan. 30 at Creighton * L, 74-65


Feb. 1 at Providence * W, 68-57

Feb. 6 MARQUETTE * W, 91-72

Feb. 8 DEPAUL * L, 87-63

Feb. 13 at Georgetown *  W, 60-55

Feb. 15 at Villanova *  L, 64-48

Feb. 22 at Butler * L, 71-53

Feb. 27 RV/#25 SETON HALL * L, 77-60

MARCH (3-1)

March 1 ST. JOHN’S * W, 74-61

March 7 No. 10 seed Georgetown  W, 70-67

March 8 No. 2 seed DePaul  L, 87-53

March 19 William & Mary  W, 57-56

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