Joliet, Ill. - Despite 15 points and eight steals by senior guard Marissa Young (Monroe, Wis./St. Joseph's College/Monroe), the No. 14 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team was upset, 80-71, in overtime by Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Tuesday night in Joliet, Ill. The Cougars (20-8 overall/6-3 CCAC) were out-rebounded, 56-26, in the game and struggled offensively in the extra period shooting just 25 percent (3-for-12) to be out-scored, 16-7. Fouls also proved to be a deciding factor Monday as the Fighting Saints got 42 free throw attempts compared to 18 for SXU. USF capitalized on the extra opportunities scoring 33 points at the charity stripe.
Freshman guard/forward Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) finished with 12 points and four rebounds for SXU. Things looked promising for the Cougars in the first half with the visitors able to build as large as a 12-point advantage, 34-22, late in the frame. However, a 15-4 surge by St. Francis to end the half erased the double-digit lead and sent Saint Xavier to the locker room clinging to a one-point lead, 38-37. The second half was back-and-forth the entire way with eight ties and six lead changes. A three-pointer by sophomore forward Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) gave SXU a 64-61 lead with 1:39 to play in regulation, but the Fighting Saints hit three of their four free throw attempts in the closing minutes to force extra play.
Both teams had its chances to go ahead in the final seconds of regulation, but neither could capitalize. The Cougars could not get their shots to fall early in the overtime period and St. Francis built a six-point lead, 72-66, with just 1:11 to play. With SXU forced to foul to try to chip into the lead, USF took complete control sinking all eight of its free throws in the closing seconds. Heine finished the game with 10 points for the Cougars on 3-for-5 shooting from the field. Senior guard Michelle Karr paced St. Francis with 26 points and 14 rebounds on the night.
Saint Xavier (20-8 overall/6-3 CCAC) wraps up its regular season slate on Saturday, February 25, with a conference game against Robert Morris University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.