Women's Basketball - Sat, Mar. 4, 2006
CHICAGO - Sophomore guard Sarah Wilson (Bloomington, Ind./South) was on fire for the second straight game scoring a game-high 29 points, including seven three-pointers, to lead the No. 22 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University women's basketball team to a 100-91 victory over No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in the championship game of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Saturday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. With the win, the Cougars improve to 23-8 overall and earn an automatic bid to participate in the 2006 NAIA National Tournament in Jackson, Tenn., which begins on Wednesday, March 15.
Wilson shot an impressive 11-for-16 (69 percent) from the field, including a 7-for-11 clip (64 percent) from beyond the arc. Junior guard and 2006 CCAC Player of the Year Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) also had a solid all-around game with 22 points, nine assists, seven rebounds, and three blocked shots. Sophomore forward Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) posted a double-double for the Cougars with 15 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Angie Brown (Sycamore, Ill./Sycamore) scored in double figures as well with 11 points in addition to her six assists.
Saint Xavier came out on fire jumping out to an early 11-1 lead in the game's first three minutes. ONU was able to close within five, but never led during the first half and SXU extended its lead back up to 12 at the halftime break, 52-40. Olivet shot well early in the second half and closed to within two points, 59-57, with 15:30 left to play in the game. The Cougars pushed its lead back up to double digits over the next five minutes, but the Tigers came storming back and pulled to within four, 89-85, with just over five minutes remaining in regulation. However, Saint Xavier hit big shots down the stretch and kept Olivet Nazarene from ever making it a one-possession game.
SXU (23-8 overall/10-2 CCAC) will make its fourth straight appearance at the NAIA National Tournament. Seedings and game times for the national tournament will be determined later this week.