Sophomore Mikayla Leyden notched a new career-high scoring total with her 17 points against PUC Wednesday
Sophomore Mikayla Leyden notched a new career-high scoring total with her 17 points against PUC Wednesday
(4)Saint Xavier
(8)Purdue University Calumet
Women's Basketball - Wed, Feb. 4, 2015

Hammond, Ind. – A pair of free throws by senior guard Suzie Broski (Rockford, Ill./Boylan Catholic) with 9.3 seconds to play gave No. 4 ranked Saint Xavier University a 90-86 lead for good as the visiting Cougars held off the No. 8 rated Purdue University-Calumet Peregrines in a premier Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) clash Wednesday evening at the PUC Fitness & Recreation Center in Hammond, Ind.  Broski led the Cougars with 19 points; while sophomore guard Mikayla Leyden (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) had a strong performance as well with a career-high 17 points to go along with six rebounds and three steals.  SXU (22-2 overall/13-0 CCAC) frustrated PUC with a stingy defense that helped produce 20 turnovers, eight of them coming off Saint Xavier steals.  The win marks the 11th straight for the Cougars dating back to December 28, 2014.  

Freshman guard Kara Krolicki (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) hit three three-pointers en route to 16 points, while senior forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) just missed a double-double with 15 points and nine rebounds.  Junior center Caitlin McMahon (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) also played well, especially in the closing minutes, logging 14 points and eight rebounds.  SXU did an excellent job of taking care of the basketball committing just six turnovers in a tough road environment. 

The first half was a battle from start to finish with neither team able to build more than a six-point edge and scored tied nine different times.  Back-to-back lay-ups by Stuut and Leyden in the final minute allowed the Cougars to take a six-point lead (46-40) at the half.  Two quick baskets by the Peregrines to open the second half cut the lead to a pair, 46-44; but a lay-up by McMahon sparked a 13-4 run that gave SXU its largest lead of the game, 59-48, with 15 minutes to play.  Purdue-Calumet came storming back and a three-pointer by sophomore guard Cassidy Deno tied the game at 68-68 with 7:18 remaining.  With four minutes to play, Leyden converted on a lay-up and Broski sank a short jumper on the next possession after a PUC turnover to put the Cougars up five, 81-76.  A three-pointer by Broski at the two-minute mark gave SXU a six-point edge (84-78), but the Peregrines hit a pair of big three-pointers in the closing seconds to keep it close.  Key shots by McMahon and Broski's two crucial free throws in the closing seconds kept the lead intact for the visitors.    

Saint Xavier (22-2 overall/13-0 CCAC) returns to the Shannon Center in Chicago on Saturday, February 7, for a conference home game against Judson University (Ill.). The game is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start on Bob Hallberg Court.