CHICAGO - Senior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe) finished with a game-high 24 points as No. 14 ranked Saint Xavier University used a strong first-half presence to pick up an 86-76 win over Roosevelt University (Ill.) in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) women's basketball action Saturday afternoon at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars improve to 19-6 overall with the victory and 5-1 in the conference standings, while the Lakers drop to 13-13 on the year and 1-5 in CCAC play. SXU shot 52 percent (16-for-31) in the first half and built a 40-26 lead at the break. Freshman guard/forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) also had another big game for the Cougars finishing with 22 points and 13 rebounds.
Young had one of her best shooting performances of the season Saturday hitting eight of her 10 field goal attempts and converting on seven of her eight free throw tries. She also tallied five rebounds and three steals on the afternoon. Freshman guard/forward Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) scored 12 points for Saint Xavier on 5-for-8 shooting, while senior forward Mary Kusner (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West) was tough in a reserve role scoring 11 points. Roosevelt was paced by sophomore guard Casey Davis with 21 points and seven steals. SXU finished the game shooting 55 percent (31-for-56) from the floor.
The Lakers struggled to take care of the ball in the opening frame racking up 16 turnovers and the Cougars took full advantage scoring 18 first-half points off the miscues. Saint Xavier trailed 15-12 midway through the period before Stuut sparked a 19-4 run with three straight lay-ups. Following the halftime break, Roosevelt came out firing and quickly erased SXU's 14-point lead outscoring the Cougars 18-6 in the first four minutes of action. A lay-up by Young at the 11:41 mark pushed Saint Xavier's lead back up to eight, 59-51, but Roosevelt fought back again. A Lakers lay-up made it a three-point game, 72-69, with four minutes remaining. However, key baskets and free throws by Young and Stuut in the closing minutes would seal the victory.
Saint Xavier (19-6 overall/5-1 CCAC) takes the trip down to Bourbonnais, Ill., on Tuesday, February 14, for a key conference match-up against No. 11 Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start.