CHICAGO – Scoring just 28 points and shooting 33 percent (10-for-30) from the field in the second half, the No. 12 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team could not maintain its double-digit lead early in the second half and fell 74-68 to Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) rival University of St. Francis (Ill.) Sunday afternoon at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Trailing 48-37 with 16:26 to play in the second half, the Fighting Saints used a 24-9 scoring run that lasted 10 minutes to go ahead for good, 61-57. The run was capped by a three-point play by sophomore forward Katie Gonnering, who scored 19 of her game-high 27 points in the second half. Sophomore forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) led SXU Sunday with 18 points, including four three-pointers.
Senior guard Jordan Brandt (Winamac, Ind./Winamac) and sophomore guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) each chipped in 12 points for the Cougars, while junior forward Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) came off the bench to score 10 points on 3-for-4 shooting from the floor. Brandt led Saint Xavier with six rebounds on the afternoon in addition to pacing the team with three steals. The Cougars had a strong first half shooting 52 percent (15-for-29) and taking a 40-32 lead at halftime. However, SXU was plagued by foul trouble and turnovers and it opened the door for the Fighting Saints to rally back. The Cougars finished the game with 20 turnovers and USF capitalized on a number of them scoring 23 points off SXU miscues.
Saint Xavier (7-3 overall, 7-3 CCAC) heads to Florida to take part in the Cruzin Classic in Fort Lauderdale. The Cougars play two games on the trip taking on No. 3 Morningside College (Iowa) on Tuesday, December 18, at 12 p.m. (eastern) and then wrapping up the Classic with a game against Siena Heights University (Mich.) on Wednesday, December 19, at 4 p.m. (eastern).