Freshman Kara Krolicki led all scorers with 15 points in SXU's 72-58 loss to No. 6 Stritch Saturday
Freshman Kara Krolicki led all scorers with 15 points in SXU's 72-58 loss to No. 6 Stritch Saturday
(6)Cardinal Stritch University
(4)Saint Xavier
Women's Basketball - Sat, Feb. 28, 2015

CHICAGO – Freshman guard Kara Krolicki (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) led all scorers with 15 points, but No. 4 ranked and No. 1 seed Saint Xavier University suffered its first loss since December 20, 2014, at the hands of No. 6 ranked and No. 2 seed Cardinal Stritch University (Wis.) by a score of 72-58 in the championship game of the 2015 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) Women's Basketball Tournament Saturday afternoon at the Shannon Center in Chicago.  The loss snapped a program record 18-game win streak for the Cougars and dropped their overall record to 29-3.  SXU had its shooting struggles Saturday hitting just 34 percent of its shot attempts (23-for-67) from the floor and just 21 percent (7-for-33) from the three-point arc.  It was the lowest scoring output (58) for the Cougars this season.    

Senior forward Morgan Stuut (Marcellus, Mich./Three Rivers) was tough on the boards finishing with a game-best 13 rebounds to go along with her eight points and game-bests of eight assists and five blocks.  Sophomore guard Mikayla Leyden (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) and junior center Caitlin McMahon (Frankfort, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) each chipped in 11 points for SXU.  Junior guard Emily Neitzel led the Wolves with 14 points, while freshman guard Miranda Huibregtse tallied 11 points and eight assists.  Cardinal Stritch used a tough defense to frustrate Saint Xavier throughout the game leading to 16 turnovers for the hosts with nine of them coming off CSU steals. 

The Wolves got off to a hot start jumping out to an early 7-0 lead in the game's first two minutes.  Although the game remained close most of the first half, SXU never had a lead and the closest it got was a lay-up by Leyden that made it a one-point game (17-16) with 5:33 left in the half.  CSU closed out the frame with a 13-4 run to take a 33-22 lead into the break.  A lay-up by Krolicki with 5:18 to play made it a five-point game (55-50), but the Cougars never got it closer than that as the Wolves made big shots and free throws down the stretch to stifle any rally attempt.       

Saint Xavier (29-3 overall/18-0 CCAC) now awaits the 32-team bracket for the upcoming NAIA Division II Women's Basketball National Championship that is scheduled for release on Wednesday, March 4.  The 32 NAIA National Championship qualifiers will be announced at 3 p.m. CST on March 4 with the national championship bracket announced via a live selection show at 7 p.m. CST that same evening.