CHICAGO – Hitting 53 percent (30-for-57) of its shot attempts from the floor, the No. 6 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team used a strong start to pull away early for a 77-50 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory over No. 19 Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) Tuesday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Sophomores Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) and Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) led the Cougars in the big win each scoring 23 points. It was not just the SXU offense that led to the big first-half lead as the hosts racked up six steals in the opening period, which helped cause 12 first-half turnovers by the Wolves. Saint Xavier led by as many as 13 points late in the first half and took a 38-27 lead into the locker room at halftime.
Stuut finished the evening with impressive numbers all around recording 13 rebounds, five blocks and five steals to go along with her 23 points. Junior guard Niara Harris (Richton Park, Ill./Robert Morris/Rich South) also scored in double figures for the Cougars with 10 points. Cardinal Stritch got a near double-double effort from sophomore forward Michelle Piepenburg with team-bests of 11 points and nine rebounds. SXU trailed by a point, 14-13, with 14 minutes left in the first half when a Broski jumper sparked a 15-2 run over the game's next six minutes. Early in the second half, the Cougars continued their scoring surge opening the new frame with a 13-2 run capped by a Broski three-pointer to put the home team ahead, 51-30. SXU built its lead as high as 29 points, 69-40, with 7:31 to play in the game.
Saint Xavier (4-1 overall, 4-1 CCAC) takes an extended break for the Thanksgiving holiday and returns to action on Wednesday, November 28, with a road game against conference foe Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.). The game is scheduled for a 5:30 p.m. start in Whiting, Ind.