Women's Basketball - Tue, Feb. 1, 2005
CHICAGO - Although she played only 19 minutes due to early foul trouble, junior forward Jacki DiMaggio (Bartlett, Ill./Glenbard North) made the most of her time on the floor finishing with a game-high 23 points as the Saint Xavier University women's basketball team picked up an important Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference (CCAC) victory over Olivet Nazarene University (Ill.), 88-85, Tuesday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. Olivet came into the game as the highest scoring team in the NAIA averaging 93.4 points per game. Saint Xavier improves to 14-10 overall and 5-1 in league play with the win, while the Tigers fall to 15-9 overall and drop their first conference game of the season at 5-1.
There were plenty of impressive individual performances by the Cougars with senior forward Rachel Merkell (Munster, Ind./Munster) having a monster all-around game with 10 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and a SXU record seven blocked shots. Sophomore guard Dani Engleman (Oak Park, Ill./River Forest) came off the bench to chip in a season-high 19 points, including three three-pointers, while senior guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) also scored in double figures on the night with 13 points.
Down 39-38 at the half, the Cougars came out on fire in the second half hitting 56 percent (22-for-39) of their shots from the field after halftime. Paced by DiMaggio, SXU scored 56 of its 88 points in the game from inside the paint, while ONU relied on the three-point shot hitting 13 treys in the game. Both teams helped force plenty of turnovers as well with each team recording 19 steals apiece in the game.
Saint Xavier heads to South Bend, Ind., Saturday for a rematch against CCAC rival Indiana-University-South Bend, a team which handed SXU its only conference defeat this season. Game time is set for 12 p.m. eastern time.