CHICAGO – Sophomore guard Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) led all scorers with 21 points as the No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team won a tight game with Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Roosevelt University (Ill.), 59-57, Wednesday evening at the UIC Physical Education Building in Chicago. The Cougars (2-1 overall/2-1 CCAC) handed the Lakers their first loss of the season (4-1 overall) using tough defense to rack up 11 steals and help cause 21 RU turnovers. Freshman forward Caitlin McMahon (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) had a nice outing as well for SXU in her first game as a starter scoring four points and pulling down a game-best 10 rebounds.
In addition to her 21 points, Stuut was also a force in several other statistical categories recording five rebounds, five assists, four blocks and three steals on the night. Junior guard Niara Harris (Richton Park, Ill./Robert Morris/Rich South) had a solid performance off the bench for Saint Xavier with seven points, two rebounds and two assists. The Lakers were led by junior guard Casey Davis with 12 points and eight rebounds. The game was tight throughout with 18 lead changes and neither team ever building larger than a seven-point lead.
McMahon kicked off the game's scoring with back-to-back lay-ups to give the Cougars an early 4-0 lead. However, Roosevelt answered with an 11-4 run to take a three-point advantage, 11-8, with 12 minutes to play in the first half. A free throw by Harris near the six-minute mark of the first half gave SXU its largest lead of the night, 26-19. The Lakers closed to within a point, 26-25, on a free throw by Davis with just over a minute to play in the half, but a lay-up by sophomore guard Maloree Johnson (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) in the closing seconds gave the Cougars a 28-25 halftime edge. A lay-up by Stuut seven minutes into the second half pushed the SXU lead back up to seven, 44-37, but it was short-lived as Roosevelt used a 12-4 run to go ahead, 49-48, with eight minutes remaining. The game went back-and-forth in the closing minutes before a lay-up by Harris with a minute to play gave SXU the lead for good.
Saint Xavier (2-1 overall, 2-1 CCAC) continues conference play on Saturday, November 17, heading to Palos Heights, Ill., to take on Trinity Christian College. The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. tip-off at the Trinity Athletics and Recreation Complex.