Joliet, Ill. - Senior point guard Alex Barone (Joliet, Ill./Marian Catholic) finished with 18 points, six rebounds, five assists and five steals to lead No. 18 Saint Xavier University to a 76-61 victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) in NAIA women's basketball action Thursday evening in Joliet, Ill. The Cougars (15-6 overall/3-1 CCAC) broke a 16-16 tie with a 13-0 scoring run that began with 14 minutes left to play in the first half. SXU then closed out the final five minutes of the opening frame with a 17-5 run to take a 49-26 lead into the halftime break. Saint Xavier shot an impressive 51 percent (18-for-35) from the field in first-half action.
Senior guard Shalonda Young (Chicago, Ill./Crane Tech) added 17 points and six rebounds for the Cougars, while junior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe) chipped in 12 points and game-best 10 rebounds. Junior guard Julie Schiffler led the Fighting Saints with 15 points and nine rebounds on the night. The game was originally scheduled for 7 p.m. on Tuesday, February 1, but due to the major snowstorm that swept through the Chicagoland area, the game was postponed until Thursday evening. SXU used its tough defense to help frustrate USF throughout the game racking up 15 steals, which helped lead to 21 turnovers by the home team.
Saint Xavier (15-6 overall/3-1 CCAC) will return home to take on CCAC foe Robert Morris University (Ill.) on Saturday, February 5. The game will start at 1 p.m. Saturday at the Shannon Center in Chicago.