Women's Basketball - Wed, Dec. 8, 2004
Wilberforce, Ohio - Freshman guard Tara Breshock (Lansing, Ill./TF-South) led the Saint Xavier University women's basketball team Wednesday with career-highs in both points (12) and rebounds (8), but the Cougars could not complete a second-half rally falling 74-67 to NCAA Division II Central State University (Ohio) at the Beacomm/Lewis Gymnasium in Wilberforce, Ohio. SXU falls to 2-8 overall this season with the loss.

Besides Breshock, freshman guard Sarah Wilson (Bloomington, Ind./Bloomington South) was the only other Cougar to score in double figures with 10 points. Junior forward Jacki DiMaggio (Bartlett, Ill./Glenbard North) finished tough on the boards as well for Saint Xavier with seven rebounds, while also chipping in four points. Central State jumped out to an early 7-0 lead, but the Cougars came storming back midway through the first half and took the 14-7 lead shutting the Marauder offense down for over a five-minute stretch.

However, Saint Xavier went into an offensive slump of its own and Central State rattled off 12 unanswered points to take back the lead, 19-14. The two teams battled back and forth over the remaining five minutes of the half and SXU closed to within three at halftime, 29-26. Unfortunately for the Cougars, DiMaggio and senior forward Rachel Merkell (Munster, Ind./Munster) got into foul trouble in the first half and each collected their fourth fouls early in the second half.

With Saint Xavier's forwards on the bench in the second half, the Marauders fed the ball down low and used points in the paint to build a double-digit lead. However, the Cougars clawed their way back into the game and tied the game, 65-65, with a lay-up by Merkell with just under three minutes to play in regulation. Down three points with less than two minutes to play, Wilson drove to the basketball and made a lay-up, but was called for an offensive foul to negate the basket. SXU could not recover from the momentum shift and Central State hit its shots in the final minute to secure the victory.

The Marauders were led by senior guard Danaea Williams with 28 points and 17 rebounds, while senior center Crystal Bennett finished with 25 points. The Cougars shot 37 percent (26-for-71) from the field in the game compared to 46 percent (25-for-54) for CSU. Central State won the rebound battle, 47-27, but SXU was able to force 18 steals out of Central State's 26 turnovers.

Saint Xavier will take a short break before heading to Orlando, Fla., to face Lee University (Tenn.) on Tuesday, December 21, as part of the Disney Games hosted annually at the Wide World of Sports Complex. Game time is set for 10 a.m.