Women’s basketball team ties program record with 18 total wins and 8 A-10 victories

The women’s basketball team extended their winning streak to seven after a 61-50 victory on the road against George Mason on Jan. 28 in Fairfax, Virginia.

SLU took the lead early on with a three-pointer from senior center Denisha Womack.  They held the Patriots to one basket for the first half of the quarter.  Womack and junior center Sadie Stipanovich dominated offensively for the Billikens for the entire first quarter.  SLU jumped ahead to a 10-2 lead, but George Mason kept themselves in the game, trailing by three at the conclusion of the first quarter, 14-11.

The Patriots pulled ahead at the start of the second quarter, 15-14, but SLU quickly crushed their chances with an 11-2 offensive frenzy in the next three minutes.  Sophomore guard Jenny Vliet gave the Bills five of those 11 points, with fellow sophomore guards Jackie Kemph and Aaliyah Covington pitching in for the rest.

Two three-pointers put the Patriots within a basket, 25-23.  However, Stipanovich and Kemph had a jumper each to seal the lead at halftime, 29-26.

George Mason took a brief lead again in the beginning of the second half, 30-29, but Vliet sunk two three-pointers to give the Billikens a five-point lead, 35-30.  Both teams exchanged buckets for the last five minutes of the third quarter, and SLU kept their lead going into the last quarter of play, 44-38.

SLU took their first double-digit lead early in the fourth quarter with a three pointer from Kemph to make it 48-38.  A pair of free throws from Vliet gave SLU their biggest lead of the game, 54-42.  The women kept consistent and finished the night 61-50, never giving George Mason a chance to get back in the game.

Vliet put together an outstanding performance, tallying a game-high and career-high 17 points to lead her team.  Kemph was close behind with 16 points, and Stipanovich racked up 12 points and a game-high of seven rebounds.

This win kept the Billikens on their path to greatness: They are 18-5 overall for the second time in program history, and their 8-2 conference start gave them their best start in team history.  They’re also tied for second in the conference with St. Bonaventure.

Unfortunately, the Billikens’ record-breaking streak and possibility of holding the top spot in the conference came to an end when George Washington handed them their second A-10 loss, 89-80, in Washington D.C. on Sunday, Jan. 31.

The game was even for the first six minutes of the first quarter.  Then, George Washington came to life by going on an astounding 15-6 run, putting the Bills at a large deficit early on, 24-15.

Despite the women’s efforts, they still trailed by ten with four minutes to go in the second quarter, 35-25.  SLU finally got in a groove and went on a 11-4 spurt in the last four minutes.  The Billikens found a way back in the game, only trailing by three points going into halftime, 39-36.

SLU saw their first lead two minutes into the third quarter with a layup by senior guard Jamesia Price.  The Colonials answered over the next two minutes by putting down 10 points to take the lead back, 51-44, halfway through the quarter.

Two layups and two free throws by Stipanovich put the Bills within five, 55-50.  They stayed tight on George Washington’s heels for the remainder of the quarter, but fell to 61-56 with a last minute basket from the Colonials to trail again going into the fourth.

Covington nailed a three-pointer in the first thirty seconds of the fourth quarter, showing that the Billikens weren’t ready to give up without a fight.  Kemph put down a jumper as well, but George Washington hit two three-pointers and two layups to lead by 10 once again, 71-61.

SLU re-found their edge with five minutes to play when they strung together three three-pointers to close in on the Colonials, 73-70.

George Washington, however, kept their cool and consistency and went on a key 7-0 run to secure a 10-point lead with three minutes left in the fourth quarter.  SLU reached within eight points a few times, but could never recover from George Washington’s lead, and lost the game, 89-80.

Stipanovich had a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds.  Covington recorded 15 points, and Kemph followed with 14 points and eight assists.  Price gathered a season-high and team-high eight rebounds and seven assists, and she moved up to third place on SLU’s career assists list with 381.  Overall, SLU shot 47.8 percent from the field.

The Billikens hosted Richmond on Feb. 3 for the annual Billiken Books and Basketball field trip, which allowed local students to join the players on the court during the pregame introductions.

The teams were evenly matched in the first quarter, with neither being able to pull ahead by more than four. The Billikens ended the quarter with a 14-12 lead that was quickly ended in the second quarter when Richmond scored the first five points to take a 17-14 lead.

SLU responded with a 7-0 run that included a three-pointer from Frantz, followed by a jumper from Gits, and topped off by another Frantz bucket. Richmond tied the score at 21 after scoring on their next two possessions, but quickly lost their momentum and fell into an offensive drought that lasted the rest of the quarter. The Billiken defense smothered the Spiders and prevented them from scoring for the rest of the quarter.

SLU’s offense took advantage of the opportunity to go on a 15-2 run. Price contributed six points, and four more came from Jakubicek, which gave the Billlikens a 36-23 lead at the half.

The Billikens continued to dominate on both sides of the court in the third quarter, easily gaining 16 point leads on two seperate occassions before heading into the fourth with a 50-37 edge over Richmond.

The Billikens did not back down in the fourth. Vliet launched another scoring frenzy that was followed by back-to-back three point plays by Kemph. Womack sank four free throws and Price wove through the lane for a layup that capped a 15-0 run. Richmond could not recover and fell to the Billikens by a score of 73-48.

Price and Kemph led SLU’s offense with 14 points a piece, followed by Stipanovich, who added ten points and dominated the boards with seven rebounds. The Billikens shot a season-high of 53.8 percent from the field.

The victory over Richmond was the 18th win for the Billikens and eighth in the conference, which ties records for the most wins in program history and most wins in the Atlantic 10 conference. The Billikens hope to break both records when they play St. Bonaventure on Feb. 10 in New York.