Women's Basketball - Fri, Dec. 5, 2008
Bourbonnais, Ill. - Two clutch free throws by junior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic) in the waning seconds of regulation helped give No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University a big 86-81 victory over No. 6 College of the Ozarks (Mo.) in intense NAIA women's basketball action Friday in the first day of the two-day CCAC Challenge hosted by Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais, Ill. McClain finished the game with 25 points to lead the Cougars in scoring, while junior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) had another stellar outing finishing with 24 points and 11 rebounds toward the winning effort.
SXU shot an impressive 55 percent (18-for-33) from the field as a team in the second half to secure the victory. The Cougars also won the rebounding battle, 38-36, a feat that has eluded the team in a majority of their previous match-ups this season. McClain hit all six of her free-throw attempts in the ballgame, but none proved bigger than her final two of the night. The game was extremely tight and physical throughout and sophomore point guard Alex Barone (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic) had the extremely difficult challenge of trying to contain 2007 NAIA First Team All-American Kayli Combs, a senior guard considered one of the best three-point shooters in the country. Despite Combs leading the Bobcats with 18 points, Barone handled her assignment well making Combs work hard the entire night to get open looks at the basket.
Saint Xavier (6-2 overall) wraps up play at the CCAC Challenge on Saturday, December 6, with a game against Pikesville College (Ky.). The game is scheduled for a 12 p.m. start in Bourbonnais, Ill.