CHICAGO – Opening the third quarter with a 13-0 run, the No. 3 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team moved its perfect season record to 16-0 with a 65-53 road victory over Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) foe Roosevelt University (Ill.) Thursday evening at the Goodman Center in Chicago. The Cougars struggled offensively hitting just 30 percent (23-for-73) of their shots for the game, but made up for it on the boards pulling down 60 rebounds, including a career-high 16 by junior center Brittany Collins (Des Plaines, Ill./Maine West). Junior guard Kara Krolicki (Mokena, Ill./Lincoln-Way East) paced SXU in scoring with 18 to go with eight rebounds and a game-leading six assists.
Freshman guard Maddie Welter (Arlington Heights, Ill./Buffalo Grove) also scored in double figures for the Cougars Thursday finishing with 12 points. Senior guard Mikayla Leyden (Chicago, Ill./Trinity) added nine points, while Collins also recorded seven points and five blocks in addition to her big rebounding effort. The game was tight in the first quarter and a lay-up by Krolicki in the closing seconds gave Saint Xavier a 21-17 edge after the opening frame. The Cougars never trailed in the second quarter and extended their lead as high as eight points before settling for a 32-25 halftime lead.
A three-pointer by Welter sparked the hot start to the third quarter for SXU, and late in the frame, a free throw by Krolicki gave SXU its largest lead of the night at 50-27 (23 points). The Cougars led by 18 or more points for most of the fourth quarter before a late charge by the Lakers narrowed the gap to 11 in the final three minutes of regulation. The SXU defense held Roosevelt to 30 percent (20-for-67) shooting from the floor and limited RU to just 16 points in the second and third quarters combined (eight points per quarter).
Saint Xavier (16-0 overall/8-0 CCAC) gets ready for a huge showdown on Saturday, January 7, hosting the NAIA's top ranked team and conference rival No. 1 University of St. Francis (Ill.). USF also comes into the big match-up with an undefeated record of 15-0. The highly-anticipated battle is scheduled for a 1 p.m. start at the Shannon Center in Chicago.