CHICAGO – Freshman guards Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) and Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) earned spots on the all-tournament team, but No. 10 ranked Saint Xavier University dropped an overtime thriller to No. 4 Davenport University (Mich.), 79-76, in the championship game of the 2011 SXU Women's Basketball Holiday Tournament Thursday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars (12-4 overall) led nearly all of regulation, but a late charge by the Panthers forced the extra period. SXU's shooting went cold (1-for-11) in the overtime frame and Davenport was able to take the championship after three free throws in the final 42 seconds secured the three-point win. The Panthers had senior guard Abby Neff and freshman guard Abbey Hengesbach named to the all-tournament team, while senior forward Karlee Despres claimed the tournament Most Valuable Player (MVP) award.
Stuut scored 22 points in Thursday's loss, while also pulling down seven rebounds. Broski tallied 14 points and seven boards on the night, while senior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe) also had a nice game for the Cougars finishing with 19 points, five rebounds and five assists. Saint Xavier came out strong in the first half shooting 57 percent (17-for-30) and led by as many as 14 points. The Cougars held a nine-point lead at the half, 41-32. With six minutes to play in regulation, SXU held an 11-point edge, 62-51, following a lay-up by senior forward Brittany Jones (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew).
However, the Panthers went on a 10-0 scoring run over the next three minutes and pulled to within a point, 62-61, on a lay-up by Hengesbach. Two free throws by Broski and a lay-up by Stuut pushed the lead up to five, 66-61, with 2:28 left in regulation, but four turnovers by the Cougars in the closing minutes opened the door for Davenport to tie up the ballgame. Hengesbach and Neff combined to score all nine of DU's points in the final 2:10 of regulation. In the extra period, Hengesbach and Despres took over scoring all nine of the Panthers' points. Young hit a three-pointer and three free throws early in OT, which helped give SXU a 76-74 lead with three minutes left to play, but the rest of the game belonged to Davenport behind five free throws.
Saint Xavier (12-4 overall) has an extended break in its schedule and will return to action on Saturday, January 14, with its Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) opener against Roosevelt University (Ill.). The road game will tip off at 6 p.m. at Attack Athletics in Chicago.