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CHICAGO, Ill. – The Indiana University South Bend women’s basketball team suffered a 91-74 loss at top-seeded and sixth-ranked Saint Xavier in the semifinals of the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference Tournament Thursday night, Feb. 27. Four different Titans scored in double figures led by freshman Maddie Gards’ 20 points.
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IU South Bend could not overcome the Cougars hot shooting on the night as the Titans drop to 25-6 overall while Saint Xavier moves to 28-3 and will play in the CCAC championship game on Saturday, Feb. 29 in Chicago, Ill. The Titans now wait their fate to see if they will participate in the NAIA DII National Tournament that begins March 11. Selection show is slated for March 4.
The Titans struggled to find an offensive rhythm as IU South Bend went 26-of-70 from the field, converting 37.1 percent of its shots. IUSB’s shooting woes stretched to the free throw and three-point lines, where the Titans knocked down 17-of-27 free throws and just 5-of-20 three-point attempts. Meanwhile, SXU shot 15-of-33 from behind the arc and 49.2 from the floor.
Maddie Gard grabbed six rebounds and collected a rejection to go along with a team-high 20 points while freshman counterpart Emma Gard and senior Taylor Wesley each scored 12 each. Katie Gard was the final Titan to reach double figures, dropping 11 to go along with seven rebounds. Senior Kyleigh Kubik dished out a team-high four assists on the night.
IU South Bend jumped out to an early five-point lead and its largest of the game just over four minutes into the game on a pair of freebies from Maddie Gard, but the Cougars scored eight unanswered points just two minutes afterwards.
Both teams traded buckets back-and-forth but from that point SXU took a four-point lead after the first quarter, 19-14. From there the nationally ranked Cougars offense answered any sort of Titan threats. Fisher pulled IUSB within four, 43-39, but SXU continued its hot shooting streak from behind the arc with a three on the other end.
After a record-breaking season, IU South Bend now must wait till March 4 to find out if it participates in the NAIA DII National Tournament.