Davenport, Iowa - Junior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe) combined for 46 points, 11 assists and 11 steals on the weekend, but the No. 6 Saint Xavier University women's basketball team split its two games at the Saint Ambrose University Classic at Lee Lohman Arena in Davenport, Iowa. The Cougars (3-1 overall) won their opening game Saturday against AIB College of Business (Iowa) by a score of 81-54. However, the Sunday finale against the host Fighting Bees, who sport a No. 25 national ranking in the 2010 NAIA Women's Basketball Division II Top 25 Preseason Poll, was a different story as SXU fell by 12 points, 85-73.
In Saturday's match-up, Young led the way with 20 points, five assists and five steals as the Cougars rode a hot second-half effort to the big victory over AIB College of Business. Senior guard Shalonda Young (Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech) posted a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds for SXU, while juniors Michelle Tourtillott (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) and Brittany Jones (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) each chipped in 11 points. After a tight first half, Saint Xavier led by a bucket, 30-28, at the halftime break. However, the Cougars quickly built a double-digit advantage and never trailed after the break en route to the 27-point decision. Shalonda Young also led an impressive defensive effort Saturday finishing with a career-high tying seven steals.
Marissa Young led all scorers with 26 points in Sunday's game against Saint Ambrose and also tallied six assists and six steals. Unfortunately for SXU, rebounding was an issue as the Fighting Bees finished with a 55-25 advantage on the boards. The Cougar defense was tough helping to force at least half of SAU's 32 turnovers Sunday behind 16 steals. Midway through the first half, Saint Xavier trailed by two, 15-13, following a jumper by Tourtillott, but a 17-2 scoring run over the game's next five minutes gave Saint Ambrose its largest lead of the game, 32-15. Early in the second half, the Cougars were able to close the gap to just five points, 43-38, on a three-point play by Marissa Young. That was as close as it would get the rest of the way as the Fighting Bees built its lead back into double digits en route to the 12-point victory. Tourtillott scored 13 points in Sunday's game, while Jones dropped in 10 points and seven rebounds off the bench.
Saint Xavier (3-1 overall) returns home to host Trinity International University (Ill.) in non-conference action on Tuesday, November 16. The game is scheduled for a 5 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.