Defense is the best offense: Women victorious after a dazzling third quarter

The SLU women’s basketball team showed that they are picking up right where they left off last season, with a 69-41 exhibition win over Maryville on Nov. 4 at Chaifetz.

The women were slow to start, giving Maryville the lead at the end of the first quarter, 16-14. However, that was the only time the Saints would have the upper hand for the rest of the game.

The Bills began to make their way back into the game in the second quarter, scoring 10 points to Maryville’s 7. SLU squeaked out the lead going into halftime, 24-23.

While the game felt close for both teams, and the momentum wasn’t really for either team, SLU made a statement in the third quarter, outscoring their opponent, 30-9. SLU took their first double-digit lead, 33-23, after going on a 9-0 run in the beginning of the third quarter. Maryville bounced back with a 3-pointer, but the Bills found their groove and went on a relentless 17-0 run for the remainder of the quarter. Sophomore guard Jackie Kemph scored 10 of SLU’s 17 points. The Bills led the Saints going into the final quarter of play, 54-32.

SLU added 15 more points to the board in the last ten minutes of the game to take the victory, 69-41.

Senior center Sadie Stipanovich scored 14 points, the game high, and tallied 9 rebounds. Kemph took the game-high in assists with 9 and put in 13 points. Sophomore guard Jordyn Frantz gave the Billikens 10 points, including two 3 -point baskets. Junior forward Maddison Gits had 9 points and 10 rebounds. Senior forward Olivia Jakubicek snatched 7 rebounds, and junior guard Jenny Vliet had the game-high in steals with 3. All 14 Billikens played in the game.

Head coach Lisa Stone commented on the women’s first time on the court together this season. “We had a conversation at half time that they played harder than we did, cut harder than we did, executed better and they did everything better than we did,” she said. “We lacked toughness and just showed up. It wasn’t enough. We got on them, and that’s harder than I’ve ever been on any team in my entire career at Saint Louis. But they came out and got after it. We had a great start to the third quarter, and it just exploded from there.”

While Kemph had one of her lowest-scoring games, it was an important test for the rest of the team. “They were clogging in on Jackie, and she didn’t have one of her best games, but the rest of the team really picked it up,” Stone said.

Once the squad made some changes on the defensive end, the game really turned around for them. “We were settling for jump shots, rushing shots and missing shots, but once we settled in and understood that you have to start on the defensive end first, then good things started happening,” Stone said.

The women start their regular season on Nov. 11, with a change of scenery in California. They take on UC Irvine on Nov. 11 and Loyola Marymount on Nov. 13.