Women's Basketball - Mon, Dec. 27, 2004
CHICAGO - Sophomore guard Candis Jackson (Chicago, Ill./Whitney Young) and freshman guard Sarah Wilson (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) each scored 11 points to lead the Saint Xavier University women's basketball team to a 94-40 win over Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in first-round action of the SXU Christmas Tipoff Tournament Monday at the Shannon Center in Chicago. With the win, the Cougars improve to 4-9 overall and advance to play St. Mary's College (Ind.) at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the second round.

The Cougars never trailed in the game and scored a season-high 65 points in the second half to seal the win. Every player on SXU's roster of 15 scored at least a point in Monday's game and Saint Xavier shot an impressive 55 percent (34-for-62) from the field in the game. Junior guard Jen Belmonte (Darien, Ill./Hinsdale South) and junior forward Jacki DiMaggio (Bartlett, Ill./Glenbard North) also scored in double figures for SXU with 10 points apiece. Senior forward Rachel Merkell (Munster, Ind./Munster) led Saint Xavier on the boards with eight rebounds. The Cougars defense forced 23 steals in the game.

In the first game of the event, Aquinas College (Mich.) held on to a 12-point halftime lead, 43-31, to defeat University of St. Francis (Ill.), 89-81, behind a team-high 26 points from sophomore center Jackie Braspenninx , who also finished with eight rebounds. Aquinas (11-3) also got solid play from senior guard Heather Orr and junior guard Ashley Heuvelman, who both finished with 19 points. Leading St. Francis (2-11) in the losing effort was junior guard Kelly Pero, who tallied a game-high 31 points, including a game-high six three-pointers.

Monday's second game was won by Huntington College (Ind.) with a 73-69 victory over St. Ambrose University (Iowa). Huntington (5-8) overcame 21 turnovers in the game and shot an impressive 56 percent (18-for-32) from the field to earn the win. The Foresters were led by junior guard Jessica Ramey, who scored 22 points and tallied a team-high five assists. St. Ambrose was led by sophomore forward Jennifer Goetz, who finished with game-highs of 26 points and 13 rebounds in the losing effort.

St. Mary's College (Ind.) pulled out the win in the third game of the tournament Monday with a 66-61 victory over Siena Heights University (Mich.). St. Mary's (6-4) was led by junior guard Bridget Boyce with 14 points, while sophomore guard Bridget Lipke and freshman guard Alison Kessler each chipped in 13. Siena Heights (6-6) was paced by senior guard Nicole Coffey with 22 points, while sophomore forward Laura Panozzo finished with 18 points and six rebounds in the loss.

Saint Xavier faces St. Mary's (Ind.) in the 7 p.m. match-up Monday at the Shannon Center. The other games include: University of St. Francis (Ill.) will play St. Ambrose (Iowa) in Tuesday's first game at 1 p.m., Siena Heights (Mich.) will take on Calumet College of St. Joseph (Ind.) in the 3 p.m. match-up, and Aquinas (Mich.) will meet up with Huntington (Ind.) in the 5 p.m. game.