Women’s College Basketball: St. Xavier turns back Trinity Christian
By Steve Millar For Sun-Times Media January 8, 2014 7:48PM
St. Xavier's Sidney Prasse (3) guarded by Trinity Christian's Brooke Bambrick (12) looks to shoot in Chicago Wednesday, January, 8, 2014. | Jim Boyce/For Sun-Times Media
Updated: February 10, 2014 11:54AM
St. Xavier coach Bob Hallberg isn’t a big believer in the term “winning ugly.”
“Losing is ugly,” he said. “Not winning.”
So while his team didn’t play up to expectations Wednesday night, Hallberg could take solace in adding a number to the win column.
Down 36-33 to Trinity Christian in the second half, the No. 8 Cougars responded with a 12-2 run and pulled away late for a 60-49 win in a Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference contest at the Shannon Center in Mount Greenwood.
“I give Trinity Christian all the credit,” Hallberg said. “They outplayed us. They outhustled us. Their coach (Reggie Chapple) did a great job. They weren’t intimidated by our ranking. They played a much better game than us, and we just won because we have more talented players.”
Mother McAuley alum Caitlin Cody scored the first six points of the second half for Trinity (5-12, 1-4) to tie the game at 29. After St. Xavier (14-3, 5-1) took a 33-30 lead, the Trolls scored the next six points for a 36-33 edge.
The Cougars, though, had an answer when they needed it, going on a 10-0 run as Morgan Stuut scored four points and Niara Harris (Rich South) and Mikayla Leyden hit key jumpers.
“We were playing good ‘D’, we just weren’t hitting shots,” Stuut said. “It was definitely a shocker because we’ve been on fire in practice the last couple of weeks. It just shows we can’t take anything for granted.
“We started moving the ball around better and had better shot selection and got it going.”
Suzie Broski finished with 16 points and six rebounds, Stuut added 12 points and 17 rebounds and Harris had eight points for the Cougars.
Cody (17 points, 7 rebounds) and Brooke Bambrick (9 points, 11 rebounds) led Trinity.
Broski scored eight points between the seven- and four-minute marks of the second half to help St. Xavier pull away.
“I hadn’t been hitting my shots earlier in the game, but as a shooter I knew I had to keep shooting when I had chances to,” she said. “We didn’t play up to our potential, but it’s good that we got this out of our system now.”
Caitlin McMahon (Lincoln-Way East) had seven points and seven rebounds for St. Xavier.
Trinity held the Cougars’ normally high-powered offense to 35 percent shooting from the field (25-of-71), but the Trolls went just 15-of-58 (26 percent).
“It’s very good to be competitive with a nationally top-10 team,” Chapple said. “You can build off a game like this. At the end of the day, we got better as a team with this game.”