Sharpshooting carries women

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Sharpshooting carries women

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While most students were enjoying Thanksgiving and preparing to finish the semester, women’s basketball was keeping busy, playing Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE), Bradley, Morgan State, Little Rock and Southeastern Missouri State (SEMO). The Bills went 4-1 in this set of games.

The Bills first faced SIUE on Nov. 17, winning 90-49. When coupled with the 90-point win at Loyola Marymount, this is only the second time in program history that the women’s team has scored 90 points in consecutive games. The 2006-2007 team was the first to accomplish this feat.

SLU got to work early with a 24-2 run in the first quarter. With this run, SLU led 28-4 at the end of the quarter. SLU ended up taking a 35-point lead in the second quarter, before settling for a 50-17 lead at the half. Senior center Sadie Stipanovich scored 20 and pulled down 10 rebounds, her second consecutive double-double, and 12th of her career. Sophomore guard Jordyn Frantz shot 3-for-6 from 3-point range, with a career-high eight assists.

Next up for the Bills was a Nov. 20 road trip to Bradley University in Peoria, Ill., where they pulled out a 68-58 win over the Braves. The Billikens trailed 10-8 after one quarter, but embarked on a 16-2 run in the second to gain a 33-20 advantage at the half. SLU then scored on seven of its first 11 possessions in the third quarter, building its lead to 53-38 at the end of the quarter. Junior guard Jackie Kemph scored a career-high 21 points, and chipped in with a career-high six assists. Senior forward Olivia Jakubicek scored 11 and pulled down 10 rebounds, her first career double-double.

After the happy trip home, the Billikens faced Morgan State on Nov. 23. The result was a decimating 71-43 win for SLU. The Billikens started off early again, using a 13-0 run to gain a 22-12 advantage after one quarter. The advantage grew to 19 points in the second quarter before the Bears struck back and SLU took a 39-24 lead to the locker room at the half. SLU shot 80 percent in the third, growing their lead to 64-39 heading into the final quarter. The fourth quarter was extremely defensive, with SLU only scoring nine points the entire quarter. However, the Bills built their lead early and were able to hold the Bears off for the win. Kemph shot 6-for-6 from the field, and 3-for-3 on free throws, tallying game highs of 15 points and seven assists. Frantz scored 14 points, chipping in three assists and two steals.

The Billikens next traveled to Little Rock over Thanksgiving break. Little Rock handed SLU its first loss of the season, a heartbreaking final of 56-43. Again, the Billikens struck early, jumping ahead 19-11 after the first quarter. However, Little Rock capitalized on a scoreless start to the second quarter for SLU, and used an 11-0 run to jump out to a 22-19 lead. The Bills were able to go back on top 25-24 after a Kemph free throw, a 3-pointer by junior guard Jenny Vilet and two free throws by junior forward Maddison Gits. Little Rock struck back to take a 28-25 advantage to the locker room. SLU and Little Rock traded the lead back and forth until Little Rock scored with 1:30 left in the third. That started the 20-6 run that gave Little Rock the victory. Frantz scored 15 points, Vilet pulled down 10 rebounds and scored eight points, and Gits tallied six points and eight rebounds.

The Billikens next traveled to Cape Girardeau on Nov. 22 to take on SEMO, winning 89-50. Throughout the game, SLU never trailed, and got on the board rather late in the first quarter, with Stipanovich hitting a jumper with 8:52 left to play. This ignited the offense, which scored on 19 of 24 possessions in the first half. The Bills eventually jumped out ahead 47-21 as they headed for the locker rooms at halftime. The Billikens came back out and kept scoring, but the Redhawks kept the lead right around 40 points throughout the second half. Jakubicek picked up her second career double-double, scoring 12 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Stipanovich scored 16 points and grabbed six rebounds. Notably, the team went 8-8 at the free-throw line, converting every attempt.

Next, the women will take on Eastern Kentucky at home on Dec. 3 at 2 p.m.