Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. – Led by a double-double performance from sophomore guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) with 16 points and 13 rebounds, the No. 12 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team topped No. 3 ranked Morningside College (Iowa) in its opening game of the Cruzin Classic in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., 76-65, Tuesday afternoon. Sophomore forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) also had a big game for SXU scoring a game-high 24 points, while also grabbing eight rebounds. The Cougars played swarming defense forcing the Mustangs to turn the ball over 24 times in addition to holding Morningside to just 35 percent shooting (9-of-26) in the first half.
In addition to Stuut and Broski, SXU had two additional players score in double figures Tuesday with senior guard Romisha Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) and junior forward Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) scoring 13 and 10 points, respectively. Taylor also chipped in game-bests of six assists and four steals. The game was tied, 9-9, with 13:44 to go in the first half, but Saint Xavier used a 16-2 run over the next six minutes of play to take a 25-11 advantage. Taylor fueled the run scoring eight points and picking up two steals over the stretch.
The Cougars pushed their lead to 17 points, 38-21, late in the first half before taking a 40-27 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Mustangs opened the second half on a 12-2 run, which narrowed the Saint Xavier lead to just three points, 42-39. That was as close as Morningside would get as the Cougars pushed the lead back up to 16 points on a free throw by freshman forward Caitlin McMahon (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) with 9:48 to go in regulation. The lead remained in double digits the rest of the way en route to the upset win for SXU.
Saint Xavier (8-3 overall/7-3 CCAC) wraps up play in the Cruzin Classic in Fort Lauderdale on Wednesday, December 19. The Cougars play Siena Heights University (Mich.) at 4 p.m. (eastern).