Women's Basketball - Sat, Dec. 22, 2007
Valparaiso, Ind. - Despite 18 points and eight rebounds by senior forward Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hannibal-LaGrange), the No. 8 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team had trouble finding its offense in the second half and fell 76-57 to NCAA Division I Valparaiso University (Ind.) Saturday at the Athletics Recreation Center in Valparaiso, Ind. After trailing by just seven points, 39-32, at the half, the Cougars (7-3 overall) scored just 25 points after the break.
Senior guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) posted 13 points and four assists for SXU Saturday, while sophomore forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) also scored in double figures with 10 points to go along with her six rebounds in the game. Junior guard Agnieszka Kulaga led the Crusaders with 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting from the field. Valpo jumped out to an early 13-2 in the game's first seven minutes before Saint Xavier used a 12-1 scoring run to tie things up, 14-14, at the 9:25 mark off a lay-up by Hannemann.
The Crusaders took back the lead and held it the remainder of the first half, but the Cougars stayed within striking distance by never letting Valpo build a double-digit advantage. In the second half, SXU came surging back and took its first lead since the opening possession, 44-43, on a jumper by Jackson with 14:44 to play in regulation. Unfortunately for the Cougars, it would be their final lead of the game as the Crusaders went on a 16-4 run over the next eight minutes to put the game out of reach. The SXU defense played Valpo tough throughout recording 14 steals, which helped lead to 19 Crusader turnovers.
Saint Xavier (7-3 overall) takes a break for Christmas and resumes its season on Thursday, December 27, with a 7 p.m. game against Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) as part of its Holiday Tournament. The three-day, eight-team tournament kicks off on Thursday with four opening games set for 1, 3, 5, and 7 p.m. at the Shannon Center in Chicago.