Honolulu, Hawaii – Led by a couple of 12-point efforts from freshman guard/forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers), the No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team split its two games at the Hoop N' Surf Classic in Honolulu, Hawaii. The Cougars (10-3 overall) lost their first game of the event, 62-45, to NCAA Division II University of Alaska-Anchorage Monday night, but then bounced back Tuesday afternoon to capture a 60-57 win over Saint Ambrose University (Iowa). Senior guard Michelle Tourtillott (Park Ridge, Ill./Maine South) had a nice outing in Tuesday's victory over the Fighting Bees finishing with team-bests of 16 points and six rebounds.
Stuut finished with 12 points and eight rebounds in SXU's first game against Alaska-Anchorage. The Cougars played tough in the first half and trailed by just four points, 32-28, at the halftime break. However, shots did not fall in the second half with Saint Xavier hitting just 17 percent (5-for-29) of its attempts from the field in the frame. UAA opened the second half with a 12-0 run to pull away for good. Freshman guard/forward Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) scored eight points for the Cougars in the game.
Broski posted 10 points in Tuesday's win over Saint Ambrose to join Tourtillott and Stuut in double figures. SXU used a 17-0 run early in the ballgame to build a 19-5 lead in the game's first eight minutes. The Cougars held their double-digit advantage for most of the first half and took a 34-21 lead into the break. However, the Fighting Bees fought back and closed to within four points, 58-54, with just under four minutes to play in regulation. A late three-pointer by SAU made it a one-point game, 58-57, at the 1:29 mark, but a pair of free throws by Stuut in the closing seconds helped seal the 60-57 decision.
Saint Xavier (10-3 overall) takes the rest of the week off for Christmas and returns to action on Tuesday, December 27, for its three-day SXU Holiday Tournament. The Cougars take on Siena Heights University (Mich.) at 7 p.m. on the tourney's opening night at the Shannon Center in Chicago.