Bourbonnais, Ill. - Freshman guard/forward Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) led all scorers with 20 points, but No. 14 ranked Saint Xavier University gave up a 53-46 halftime lead and fell 88-81 to No. 11 Olivet Nazarene University in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) action Tuesday night at McKie Arena in Bourbonnais, Ill. The Cougars (19-7 overall) also got solid production from senior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe) and freshman guard/forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) with 19 and 18 points, respectively. SXU had trouble securing defensive rebounds in the ballgame and ONU took full advantage pulling down 32 offensive boards, which led to numerous second-chance opportunities for the home team.
Both teams also struggled taking care of the basketball with 33 turnovers credited to each squad due to the defensive pressure applied by both teams. Stuut and senior forward Brittany Jones (Tinley Park, Ill./Andrew) led the Cougars on the boards with eight rebounds apiece. Young led Saint Xavier defensively with six steals to go along with five rebounds and four assists. The Tigers got huge production from seniors Holly Schacht and Denita Phelps. Schacht buried five three-pointers en route to her team-high 19 points, while Phelps put together a double-double effort of 17 points and 16 rebounds.
The Cougars jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead in the first 30 seconds of play behind a Broski jumper and a three-point play by Young. Saint Xavier led practically the entire first half and built its largest lead of the frame, 39-30, with five minutes left in the half following a Young lay-up. Taking its seven-point advantage into the break, things looked bright for SXU heading into second-half action, especially after early points by Young and Broski extended the lead to 11 points, 57-46. However, it took just a three-minute run for Olivet Nazarene to completely erase the deficit and take a 60-59 lead on a pair of free throws by Schacht with 16 minutes to play. The Tigers took control from that point and went ahead by as many as nine points with the Cougars never able to regain the lead.
Saint Xavier (19-7 overall/5-2 CCAC) continues its conference slate on Saturday, February 18, with a home game against Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.