CHICAGO – Closing to within three points in the final two minutes after trailing by as many as 18 points in the second half, the No. 12 ranked and No. 2 seeded Saint Xavier University women's basketball team could not complete the rally attempt and fell 70-64 to No. 7 seed Indiana University-South Bend (IUSB) in the quarterfinals of the 2013 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Tournament Wednesday evening at the Shannon Center in Chicago. The Cougars struggled shooting the ball and securing rebounds throughout the game. SXU hit just 35 percent (25-for-72) of its shots from the field and were outrebounded, 49-32, by the Titans. Sophomore forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) notched her 18th double-double of the season finishing with 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead Saint Xavier.
Sophomore guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) scored 16 points for the Cougars, while junior forward Chrissy Heine (Hampshire, Ill./Hampshire) also tallied double figures in scoring with 11 points. IUSB got big games from senior forward Courtney Simpson and sophomore guard Nichole Sly. Simpson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds, while Sly recorded 18 points, nine rebounds and five assists. The Titans were red hot in the first half hitting 50 percent of their shots (13-for-26), which helped the visitors build a 39-26 halftime advantage. SXU led briefly, 3-2, with 18 minutes left in the first half before IUSB used a 10-2 run over the next three minutes to build a 12-5 advantage.
The Titans never relinquished the lead after that using key scoring runs throughout the rest of the frame to take a double-digit lead into halftime. With 12:15 to play in the game, IUSB took its largest lead of the game, 55-37, on a lay-up by Simpson. The Cougars used a gritty defense to claw their way back into the game cutting the big deficit to three points (62-59) with 1:47 remaining on a three-pointer by Stuut. However, the Titans hit eight of their 10 free throw attempts in the final 1:14 to secure the victory. SXU racked up 13 steals, which helped lead to 22 turnovers by IUSB.
Saint Xavier can still earn an at-large bid to the 2013 NAIA Women's Basketball Division II National Championships, which begins on Wednesday, March 6, in Sioux City, Iowa. The seedings and pairings for the national tournament are scheduled to be released on Wednesday, February 27.