St. Xavier burns up HU women in second half at own tourney

The Huntington University women's basketball team couldn't put out the St. Xavier University fire in the second half and wound up a 77-61 loser in the second round of the St. Xavier Holiday Tournament.

The Foresters, 9-4, trailed at halftime by only five points at 35-30, but then saw the hosts hit 19 of 31 shots for 61.3 percent in the second half to blunt any chance of an HU comeback.

Pazia Speed knocked down 8 of 12 shots from the field and all six of her free throw tries to score a game-high 23 points for HU, and Sarah Miller-Jennings added 13 points.

St. Xavier, 11-3, was led by the trio of Suzie Broski, Morgan Stuut and Chrissy Heine, who combined for 53 points. Broski notched 20, Stuut had 17 and Heine hit for 16.

St. Xavier hit 36 of 68 shots for the game for 52.9 percent. HU hit 22 of 58 from the field for 37.9 percent, but kept itself in the contest with a perfect 12 of 12 night at the free-throw line.

The hosts scored the first 10 points of the game and 14 of the first 16 to take a 14-2 lead on HU in the first five minutes of the contest. A pair of 3-pointers by Miller-Jennings helped the Foresters go on their own 14-2 run in the next four minutes as HU tied the contest at 16-all with 11:47 to go in the opening half. HU took its only lead of the contest at 23-22 on a 3-pointer by Allison Greene off a Speed assist, but St. Xavier ripped off the next 10 points to take a lead it would not give back.

Amelia Recker scored eight points for HU and Greene scored seven.

Speed led HU on the boards with six rebounds, and matched Lauren Meese with three assists.

In addition to her scoring efforts, Stuut was a monster on the boards for St. Xavier, ripping down a game-high 16 rebounds. She also dished out six assists.