CHICAGO - Opening the game on an 18-2 run and never trailing in the game, the No. 12 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team rolled in a convincing 78-61 win over previously unbeaten University of Saint Francis (Ind.) Saturday night in the championship game of the three-day SXU Holiday Women's Basketball Tournament at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (12-3 overall) were tough on both ends of the court hitting 49 percent (29-of-59) of its shot attempts and racking up 15 steals to help lead to 22 USF turnovers on the evening. Following the championship game, junior forward Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) and sophomore guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) were named to the all-tournament team, while sophomore forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) was named the Tournament's Most Valuable Player (MVP).
Broski and Stuut had the hot hands in Saturday's victory each scoring 20 points to pace the winning effort. Stuut just missed another double-double performance pulling down nine rebounds. Heine and senior guard Romisha Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) also had solid outings with Heine chipping in 13 points and a game-high four blocks and Taylor posting 13 points and a game-best seven assists. Saint Xavier had one of its best defensive outings of the season scoring 28 of its 78 points off Saint Francis turnovers. After jumping out to its big lead in the game's first seven minutes, the Cougars kept the pressure on and built a 41-21 halftime advantage. SXU held USF to just 31 percent (8-for-26) shooting in the first half. The Cougars maintained a double-digit lead for the entire second half, but Saint Francis cut it to 10 points, 66-56, with just under three minutes to play before a late flurry of free throws by the hosts wrapped things up.
Saint Xavier (12-3 overall/7-3 CCAC) takes a week off and returns to action on Saturday, January 5, to take on Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Holy Cross College (Ind.). The game is set for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the Shannon Center in Chicago.