Women's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 5, 2009
CHICAGO - Behind a career-high 21 points and team-best nine rebounds by senior forward Abiola Amure (Chicago, Ill./St. Scholastica), the No. 7 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University women's basketball team rolled to a 70-51 victory over No. 5 seed Robert Morris College (Ill.) in the semifinals of the 2009 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Thursday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Amure shot an impressive 8-for-15 from the floor, including three three-pointers, to achieve her new career single-game scoring mark. The Cougars (24-4 overall) advance to Saturday's championship game and will take on No. 2 seed University of St. Francis following the Fighting Saints' 80-71 victory over No. 3 seed Indiana University-South Bend Thursday evening in Joliet, Ill.
SXU had three additional players score in double figures in Thursday's win with junior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) finishing with 12 points as well as eight rebounds. Sophomore guard Shalonda Young (Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech) chipped in 11 points for the Cougars, while junior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic) added 10. Sophomore point guard Alex Barone (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic) had a nice all-around outing for Saint Xavier posting nine points, nine assists and six rebounds toward the winning effort. Junior guard Jessica Harris led Robert Morris with 17 points, while sophomore forward Shante Clark turned in 14 points and nine rebounds. Poor shooting hampered the Eagles throughout the night with the team connecting on just 31 percent (20-for-64) of its shots from the field, including a 13 percent clip (3-for-24) from the three-point arc.
The Cougars took control of the game early on jumping out to a 15-8 lead in the first seven minutes of play. Shooting 53 percent (17-for-32) from the field in the first half, SXU continued to build on its lead and took a commanding 45-22 lead into the locker room at halftime. However, Robert Morris came out strong defensively in the second half and cut the lead to 14, 52-38, with 10:37 left in the ballgame. SXU was able to regroup and built its advantage back up to 22 points, 67-45, with just under two minutes remaining in regulation. Saint Xavier (24-4 overall/9-1 CCAC) takes its No.1 seed to Saturday's CCAC Tournament championship game and will face off against No. 2 seed St. Francis (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 2 p.m. start Saturday at the Shannon Center in Chicago.