Women's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 6, 2008
CHICAGO - Senior forward Jackie Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hannibal-LaGrange) made nine of her 12 shot attempts scoring a game-high 21 points en route to an 85-73 victory for No. 14 ranked Saint Xavier University over rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) in the semifinals of the 2008 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Women's Basketball Tournament Thursday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. After leading 41-28 at the half, the Cougars never trailed in the second half and led by as many as 24 points, 67-43, with 10 minutes to play in regulation. SXU now advances to Saturday's CCAC championship game and will host No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University.
In addition to Heine, Saint Xavier also got huge performances from sophomore forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) and senior guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young). Hannemann posted a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Cougars, while Jackson scored 16 points and dished out a game-high seven assists. Sophomore guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College) finished with 11 points and senior forward Tara Breshock (Lansing, Ill./TF-South) posted 10 points to round out the double-figure scorers for SXU. Breshock was also tough defensively recording a season-best five blocked shots in addition to her seven rebounds. The Cougars shot 49 percent (31-for-63) from the field, including a 54 percent clip (13-for-24) in the second half.
St. Francis led in the early goings taking a 12-8 advantage at the 15:16 mark of the first half. Saint Xavier heated up offensively over the game's next seven minutes and outscored the Saints, 22-7, to build an 11-point lead, 30-19. The Cougars continued to attack the basket the rest of the half and led 41-28 at the break. SXU kept the pressure on early in the second half and was able to build a 21-point lead, 78-57, with just under five minutes to play in the game. The Saints made a late run in the final three minutes and closed to within 10 points, 83-73, with 1:42 remaining. However, the deficit proved to be too large. St. Francis was led by sophomore forward Kellie Fazio with 18 points and nine rebounds.
Saint Xavier (23-7 overall/8-2 CCAC) advances to Saturday's CCAC championship game against No. 2 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). Based on their No. 1 seed, the Cougars will host the championship game scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.