Women's Basketball - Thu, Mar. 17, 2005
Jackson, Tenn. - Despite 14 points by junior forward Jacki DiMaggio (Bartlett, Ill./Glenbard North), the No. 25 ranked Saint Xavier University women's basketball team could not keep pace with No. 4 ranked Point Loma Nazarene University (Calif.) falling, 73-54, Thursday in the first round of the 2005 NAIA Women's Basketball Division I National Championships at Oman Arena in Jackson, Tenn. The Cougars end their season with an overall record of 21-13 after earning their third straight trip to the NAIA national tournament, while the Sea Lions improve to 31-4.
In addition to DiMaggio, senior forward Rachel Merkell (Munster, Ind./Munster) also had a solid outing for SXU scoring five points and grabbing a team-high 10 rebounds. DiMaggio pulled down nine rebounds in the loss. Sophomore guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) was the only other Cougar player to score in double figures with 10 points.
DiMaggio scored SXU's first six points of the game as the Cougars trailed 9-6 in the first five minutes of play. However, a five-minute scoring drought by Saint Xavier allowed the Sea Lions to build a 20-6 advantage with 10 minutes remaining in the first half. Following the drought, SXU was able to get its offense in sync and kept pace with Point Loma for the remainder of the half trailing 38-21 at halftime. Saint Xavier shot just 24 percent (8-for-34) in the first frame, while the Sea Lions hit 50 percent (15-for-30) from the field.
In the second half, SXU were able to match baskets with Point Loma, however, the first half deficit proved to be too large. The Sea Lions were also tough on the boards outrebounding Saint Xavier, 55-36, in the game. The Cougar defense was able to help force 23 Point Loma turnovers in the game.
Junior center Mica DeHoog led the Sea Lions in double figures with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting from the floor. Kristin Jenkins also added a double-double as she scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for Point Loma Nazarene, making their fourth appearance in the NAIA National Tournament.