Milwaukee, Wis. – Senior point guard Niara Harris (Richton Park, Ill./Robert Morris/Rich South) tied a career-best with 18 points, but it was not enough as No. 9 ranked Saint Xavier University fell to No. 15 Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.), 71-61, in Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) women's basketball action Wednesday night at Panella Court in Milwaukee, Wis. The Wolves were tough on the boards throughout the night recording 46 rebounds compared to just 25 for the Cougars. CSU also made the most of its free throw opportunities sinking 20 of 26 attempts in the game. With the loss, SXU falls to 3-2 on the season and 1-1 in conference play.
Junior guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) shot 7-for-10 from the field for 14 points for the Cougars, while junior forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) posted 13 points and team-bests of nine rebounds and four steals. However, Stuut suffered her fifth foul of the game with 1:57 to play and Saint Xavier trailing by five, 64-59. The shots were not falling from anywhere for the Cougars with the team shooting 40 percent (23-for-57) from the floor, 25 percent (4-for-16) from three-point range and 58 percent (11-for-19) from the free throw line. CSU junior guard Michelle Piepenburg led all scorers with 25 points to go along with a game-high 12 rebounds. Harris singlehandedly went on a 7-0 run midway through the second half and erased a six-point deficit to give SXU its first lead since the opening two minutes of play. Unfortunately, the Cougar offense went cold in the final five minutes and the Wolves closed out the game on a 13-2 run.
Saint Xavier (3-2 overall/1-1 CCAC) heads to Bourbonnais, Ill., this weekend to take part in the two-day Holiday Inn Express Classic hosted by Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.). The Cougars kick off tournament play against Huntington University (Ind.) on Friday, November 22, at 5:30 p.m. SXU wraps up play in the Classic on Saturday, November 23, with a 1 p.m. game against Mid-Continent University (Ky.).