Lebanon, Ill.–Freshmen guard/forwards Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) and Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) stole the show as No. 13 ranked Saint Xavier University swept both its games at the McKendree University Women's Basketball Tournament this weekend in Lebanon, Ill. Stuut finished the tournament with 32 points and 23 rebounds, while Broski was right behind her with 30 points and five rebounds. SXU defeated host McKendree, 66-62, on Friday night and then followed that with a 72-48 win over Avila University (Mo.) Saturday afternoon. With the two victories, Saint Xavier improves to 7-2 overall this season.
In Friday's game against the Bearcats, Stuut posted a double-double of 17 points and 13 rebounds to lead the way. Broski also had a nice night for the Cougars with 16 points to wrap up the double-digit scorers for SXU. The first half was a tight battle with McKendree getting the edge late and taking a 34-31 lead into halftime. The Bearcats pushed the lead to eight points, 47-39, early in the second half before the Cougars made their push. An 11-3 run over the game's next five minutes tied the game, 50-50, with eight minutes to play. Senior forward Brittany Jones (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) scored four points during the key run. A jumper by Broski with three minutes remaining gave Saint Xavier the lead, 61-60, and the Cougars would hold the lead for the rest of the game.
Saturday's game was a tale of two halves as SXU trailed 33-31 at the half, but shot an impressive 64 percent (14-for-22) in second-half action to take the lead and pull away for a commanding 72-48 victory. Senior guard Michelle Tourtillott (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) led the way with 17 points and four assists, while Stuut had another double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds. Broski finished the game with 14 points, while Jones chipped in 10 points. A three-pointer by Stuut with 15 minutes left in regulation sparked a 14-2 run that gave the Cougars a 52-42 lead. However, the real damage came with just over eight minutes to play when the SXU defense held Avila scoreless for a seven-minute stretch to build a big 70-46 lead.
Saint Xavier (7-2 overall) returns to action next weekend with two games at the Olivet Nazarene University Tournament. The Cougars take on Houghton College (N.Y.) on Friday, December 2, at 6 p.m. SXU wraps up tourney play on Saturday, December 3, with a 1 p.m. game against Harris-Stowe State University (Mo.).