Women's Basketball - Thu, Nov. 20, 2008
Jackson, Tenn. - Behind a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds by junior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic), the No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team upset No. 3 Freed-Hardeman University (Tenn.), 55-54, in day one of the three-day Jackson Rotary Classic in Jackson, Tenn. The Lions had a chance to win the game in the final seconds, but Hannemann came up with the big steal with three seconds to play in regulation and dribbled out the clock before FHU could foul her. With the victory, SXU head coach Bob Hallberg earns the program's 200th all-time win.
Although Freed-Hardeman led for a majority of the first half, Saint Xavier kept things close and took a one-point lead, 23-22, with just over three minutes left before halftime. Trailing 30-25 at the break, the Cougars got off to a slow start and fell behind 39-29 in the first four minutes of the second half. However, SXU went on a 10-0 run over the next three minutes to tie the game, 39-39, on a three-pointer by freshman guard Michelle Tourtillott (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South).
The Lions regained the lead, but the Cougars kept it close and took their first lead of the second half, 53-51, on a jumper by junior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic) with 3:20 to play in regulation. SXU would not relinquish the lead the rest of the way with McClain hitting two big free throws, the team's only foul shots of the game, with just under two minutes to play to wrap up the scoring.
In addition to Hannemann's big night, McClain finished with 13 points, five assists and six steals. Senior forward Abiola Amure (Chicago, Ill./St. Scholastica) played well scoring 12 points and pulling down three rebounds. The defense rattled Freed-Hardemann all night with 12 of its 16 turnovers in the game coming off Cougar steals. The SXU offense also did a nice job of moving the ball with 19 of its 24 field goals coming off assists.
Saint Xavier (3-0 overall) continues play in the Jackson Rotary Classic on Friday, November 21, by taking on No. 1 ranked Union University (Tenn.). The game is scheduled for a 7 p.m. start in Jackson, Tenn.