CHICAGO – Huge individual performances by junior Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) and sophomores Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) and Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) told the tale as the No. 12 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team pulled away in the second half for a 77-61 victory over No. 23 Huntington University (Ind.) in the second day of the three-day SXU Holiday Women's Basketball Tournament Friday night at the Shannon Center in Chicago. With the win, the Cougars advance to Saturday's 7 p.m. tournament championship and will face No. 7 ranked and undefeated (14-0) University of Saint Francis (Ind.). Senior guard Romisha Taylor (Chicago, Ill./Von Stueben) was also key to the big offensive surges by Heine, Broski and Stuut finishing the game with a career-high 10 assists.
Broski led the way with 20 points on 10-for-20 shooting from the field, while Stuut was right behind her posting her ninth double-double of the season with 17 points and 16 rebounds. Heine connected on eight of her 10 field goals on the evening for a career-best 16 points in addition to pulling down seven rebounds. SXU shot an amazing 61 percent (19-for-31) from the field in the second half to secure the double-digit victory. The Cougars opened the game on a 14-2 run in the first five minutes, but the Foresters fought back and tied things up, 16-16, with 11 minutes to play in the half. Saint Xavier poured it on again and built a 10-point advantage, 35-25, with a minute remaining, but Huntington hit a three-pointer and a pair of free throws in the final seconds to make the score, 35-30, at the break. The Cougars did not build a comfortable lead until a 20-8 run during a seven-minute span midway through the second period pushed the advantage to 68-50.
Saint Xavier (11-3 overall/7-3 CCAC) heads to the tournament championship for the seventh straight year. The championship will feature a "Battle of the Cougars" and tip off at 7 p.m. at the Shannon Center in Chicago.