Women's Basketball - Sat, Mar. 20, 2010
Jackson, Tenn. - Despite 23 points from senior guard Kathlyn McClain (Oak Forest, Ill./Converse College/Marian Catholic) as well as 18 points and 14 rebounds by senior forward Erin Hannemann (Homer Glen, Ill./Providence Catholic), the No. 2 ranked and No. 1 seeded Saint Xavier University women's basketball team dropped a heartbreaker to No. 7 ranked and No. 2 seed Azusa Pacific University (Calif.), 73-69, in the quarterfinals of the NAIA Division I Women's Basketball Championships Saturday night at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. The game was extremely close throughout with 21 lead changes and 13 ties. SXU struggled shooting the ball down the stretch scoring just four points in the final five minutes. Saint Xavier came out strong both offensively and defensively building a 10-2 advantage in the first seven minutes of play led by a pair of lay-ups by Hannemann. Five straight points by McClain would push the lead to nine, 15-6, at the 11:21 mark of the first half, but Azusa Pacific would make a run of its own over the game's next three minutes dropping 10 unanswered points to take its first lead of the game, 16-15. A three-pointer by junior guard Alex Barone (Joliet, Ill./Joliet Catholic) would stifle the APU's momentum and the two teams would battle back-and-forth the remainder of the half. Azusa Pacific would close out the frame on a 5-0 run to take a 35-32 lead into halftime.
Neither team would waver in the second half as the battle continued with a flurry of early scoring. McClain hit a three-pointer with just over 15 minutes remaining to give SXU a slim three-point advantage, 43-40. With five minutes remaining, Hannemann capped a 6-0 run for Saint Xavier with a lay-up to put her team ahead, 65-61. However, Azusa Pacific would close out the game on a 12-4 run to rally and pick up the victory.
Saint Xavier ends its season with an overall record of 31-2. The Cougars won the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) regular season and tournament titles, recorded its best regular season mark to date (27-1) and advanced to the NAIA's "Elite Eight" for the first time in the program's 10-year history.