Women upset Fordham in front of record crowd


After improving to 2-4 in the A-10, the Saint Louis University women’s basketball team took on conference opponent Fordham at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, Jan. 24. Fordham was tied for the top spot in the A-10 with an unbeaten record of 5-0, and looked to continue their dominance against the Billikens.

A record crowd of 3,290 fans came out to see the game, which destroyed the previous record of 2,018 in the 2008-09 season.

Fordham started the game strong with a 7-0 run that resulted in an 11-4 lead within the first five minutes of the game. The Billikens found their rhythm when guard Jamesia Price hit a 3-pointer, and later connected with center Sadie Stipanovich to bring SLU within four points of Fordham. Fordham took over the game from this point, with a 7-0 run with 4:43 left in the first, but the Billikens didn’t go down without a fight, and formulated a 6-0 run when Desirae Ball hit a jumper at the horn.

Unfortunately, the Billikens found themselves down by 10 at halftime, but they picked up the pace at the start of the second half with a 13-0 run.

The offensive onslaught was ignited by Billiken center Sadie Stipanovich, who opened the second with back-to-back buckets, and guard Olivia Jakubicek followed up with two shots of her own to give SLU a 30-29 lead at the 13:59 mark. The defense played a vital part in the run, holding Fordham scoreless for nine minutes between the end of the first and the beginning of the second half. SLU didn’t  let Fordham get ahead after gaining back the lead.

There would be a few ties throughout the remainder of the game, both being broken by forward Jenny Vliet with free-throws when the score was 40-40, and then successfully converted a 3-point play to send the Billikens up 47-44.

The Billikens gained a hard fought 51-44 lead with 1:19 left in game before Fordham had one final offensive push with a 6-0 run, but the Bills held on, thanks to the accurate free-throw shooting of Vliet and Stipanovich, giving SLU the 54-50 victory.

Stipanovich led the Billiken offense with 18 points, and  Vliet had her first career double-double with 10 rebounds and 12 points.

Another notable in women’s basketball this week was Jackie Kemph being named A-10 women’s basketball Rookie of the Week with a team-high and SLU-record of “most assists by a freshman”, 113 this season.

The woman were supposed to host Saint Joseph’s at Chaifetz on Wednesday, Jan. 28, but due to the snow storm wreaking havoc on the East coast, outbound flights were cancelled. As a result, the game has been postponed until Thursday, Jan. 29, with tip-off still at 11:30 a.m.  The game will be part of the Billiken Books and Basketball Field Trip Day.

The Hawks are currently 6-12 on the season, with an A-10 conference record of 2-4, and are coming off of a 66-48 win over St. Bonaventure.