Gradle and maven-publis-auth issue

Hello, newer to gradle. I implemented maven-publish-auth plugin which I expected to pick up the username and password credentials of my snapshots repo from the maven settings file. I used the example here: How can gradle use repository settings from maven's settings.xml to publish artifacts to a repository?. However it doesnt seem to pick up the creds.

If I hardcode the creds in build.gradle, my artifact is successfully pushed to the repo. When I remove the credentials block, it fails with a 401. I ran with debug and can see that its picking up the correct settings.xml from my D drive (a shared one)–it just doesnt seem to get the creds from the file. If I copy the settings.xml to $HOME/.m2/settings.xml, it works as expected. Has anyone else had a similar issue? We’d like to use the shared settings.xml and have it pull the credentials vs hardcoding.