Brooke Ridley and Kayla Drake scored 14 points each to lead Saint Francis to an 82-69 win over St. Xavier in the second of the NAIA Division II Women’s Basketball National Championships on Friday at Sioux City, Iowa.
The Cougars, 32-3, were scheduled to play defending national champion Northwestern (Iowa), 25-7, in the quarterfinals at 3 p.m. today. Friday’s win came against a team that had handed the Cougars one of their three losses – a 78-61 decision on Dec. 29 at the SXU Holiday Tournament.
USF wasted no time gaining an advantage on St. Xavier as Ridley scored the first six points of the game. They eventually led 13-2 with 15:02 to play in the first half. The lead continued to grow and Saint Francis led 44-25 at halftime.
A basket by Ridley with 13:30 remaining gave Saint Francis its largest lead, 60-35. St. Xavier was able to cut into the lead but it was to much to overcome.
The Cougars had balanced scoring as five players reached double figures. Besides Ridley and Drake, Skylarr Shurn had 11 while Jenelle Wilson and Jessica Harrison scored 10 each.
Ridley had a double-double as she hauled in 10 rebounds to share team honors with Meghan Slusher. Ridley also had three blocks.
USF dominated the boards as they outrebounded St. Xavier 55-27. The Cougars allowed SXU eight offensive rebounds while collecting 18 off of their offensive glass.