Third-ranked St. Xavier gave the St. Ambrose women’s basketball team a taste Wednesday of what it has been dishing out all season.
The Cougars buried 20 of 40 shots from three-point range and cruised to a 103-69 Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference victory over the Queen Bees at Lee Lohman Arena.
The margin of victory pretty much mirrored what St. Xavier has averaged throughout the season, outscoring opponents by 29.9 points and hitting an average of 13 of 30 from behind the arc.
The difference Wednesday against the Bees was nearly half the 63-point margin the Cougars beat the Queen Bees by last month.
“That’s what they do. They shoot threes and when they’re on, they’re tough to handle,’’ St. Ambrose coach Krista Van Hauen said. “I felt like we played fairly well. You shoot 57 percent from three (8 of 14) and you expect to be in it, but not when they shoot it like that.’’
The Queen Bees actually hung with the Cougars early, trailing 22-18 after one quarter and 32-27 with four minutes left in the second before St. Xavier closed the opening half with a 17-4 run.
“We moved the ball well in the first quarter, had seven assists on eight baskets. We were doing a lot of what we wanted to do,’’ Van Hauen said. “The second quarter, we got away from that, had too many individual drives and you’re not going to drive it with much success against them.’’
Kara Krolicki scored 22 of her game-high 34 points in the opening half as the Cougars built a 49-31 lead, but St. Xavier didn’t stop there.
Maddie Welter scored 14 of her 23 points in the third quarter as the co-leaders of the CCAC North extended their lead to 78-42.
Krolicki and Welter each finished with seven three-pointers for the Cougars (26-2, 17-2 CCAC), combining for a 14-of-25 game from the field.
Reeann McCarty led St. Ambrose (10-18, 5-14) with 14 points, while Hannah Bindner finished with 12 and Emily Soy contributed 10 as part of a 43-percent shooting effort by the Queen Bees.