Women's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 4, 2010
CHICAGO - Led by a team-best 15 points by senior guard Angie Bush (Valparaiso, Ind./Morgan Township), the No. 2 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University women's basketball team was able to pull away in the second half for a big 78-55 win over No. 5 seed Robert Morris University (Ill.) in semifinals action of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Thursday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (28-1 overall) shot 56 percent (19-for-34) from the field in second-half action to secure the victory and scored 40 of its 78 points in the paint. In addition, senior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic) logged a double-double for SXU with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
Junior guard Shalonda Young (Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech) also had a nice night for the Cougars finishing with 12 points, while junior point guard Alex Barone (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic) tallied nine points, eight rebounds, six assists and four steals. Senior guard Jessica Harris led Robert Morris with 16 points and 11 rebounds, while junior guard Jerita Gordon posted 12 points and eight boards. Both teams got off to slow starts offensively with SXU clinging to a three-point lead, 8-5, after the game's first five minutes. The Cougars were able to build an eight-point lead, 24-16, with six minutes remaining in the first half on a pair of free throws by senior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic). However, RMU stormed back and a free throw by Harris cut the lead in half, 26-22, with 1:29 left in the first frame.
SXU took a six-point lead into the locker room at halftime, 28-22, despite committing 15 turnovers in the first half. The Cougars came out of the break strong though and built an 11-point advantage, 41-30, in the first six minutes of the second half. However, the Eagles would not go down quietly and a three-pointer by Harris at the 11:17 mark cut the lead to three, 46-43. The tight score seemed to light a spark in the SXU offense and started a 25-12 run over the next 10 minutes, which allowed the Cougars to pull away for good.
Saint Xavier (28-1 overall) will now take on No. 3 seed Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.) in Saturday's CCAC Tournament Championship. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the Shannon Center in Chicago.