Women's Basketball - Sat, Feb. 14, 2009
CHICAGO - A pair of free throws by junior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic) with eight seconds remaining in regulation lifted No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University (Ill.) to a big 67-64 win, its 12th straight, over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Saturday afternoon at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (21-3 overall/7-0 CCAC) never trailed in Saturday's game, but the Fighting Saints kept things close throughout tying the game four times and cutting the lead to three points, 65-62, with 10 seconds to play. USF falls to 14-12 on the season and 5-2 in the conference standings, giving SXU a full two-game lead atop the league.
Junior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) led all scorers with 24 points on 9-for-14 shooting from the field in addition to her 12 rebounds. McClain also had a big scoring output with 21 points, while senior forward Abiola Amure (Chicago, Ill./St. Scholastica) pulled down a game-high 14 rebounds. Sophomore guard Shalonda Young (Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech) also scored in double figures for Saint Xavier Saturday with 10 points. Junior forward Kellie Fazio led St. Francis in scoring with 18 points shooting 7-for-12 from the field. A key to the game for the Cougars Saturday was taking care of the ball with SXU committing just 12 turnovers in the game compared to 18 by the Saints.
The Cougars jumped out to a 12-5 lead in the game's first six minutes before back-to-back jumpers by the Saints cut their deficit to three, 12-9. Saint Xavier used a 15-5 run to build a 13-point advantage, 27-14, its largest of the game, with 8:34 to play in the first half. However, USF closed out the remainder of the half strong and tied things up, 34-34, at halftime. SXU opened the first four minutes of the second half with a 7-0 surge, but the Saints responded again and cut the lead back to two, 41-39, with 14 minutes remaining. The game stayed tight the rest of the way until the Cougars took an eight-point lead, 65-57, on a jumper by Hannemann with 1:12 to play. However, the Saints fought back once again in the final minute and made it a single-possession game in the final seconds before McClain iced the victory with her two free throws.
Saint Xavier (21-3 overall/7-0 CCAC) takes the week off before returning to action on Saturday, February 21, with its final regular season home game against CCAC foe Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start.