Women rack up two conference wins, rise to second place

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The women’s basketball team hit the road for back-to-back conference games this week against St. Bonaventure and La Salle.

On Feb. 11, SLU defeated St. Bonaventure, 74-58, to move to 10-3 in A-10 play and to take over second place in the rankings. Te squad also achieved 20 victories on the season for the second time. They are after at least seven more wins to break the record of 26 wins from last year’s season.

SLU made easy work of the Bonnies by taking the permanent lead just four minutes into the game, 9-7. They followed the lead up with a 15-4 spurt, started by senior forward Olivia Jakubicek, to take a 26-16 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The women slowed things down slightly in the second quarter, scoring only 10 points. However, they held the Bonnies to just four points to take a 36-20 lead going into intermission.

The Bills turned up the heat in the third quarter, as usual, increasing the lead 60- 35.

In the fourth quarter, St. Bonaventure finally made their offense flow, but it was too little too late, as SLU widened the gap to a 28-point lead. By the time the Bonnies went on a late run, they ran out of clock, giving SLU their first win in Olean, N.Y.

The women made discipline their main focus of the game. They had a season low of seven turnovers, tallying their seventh game this season with a single-digit turnover total. SLU held the Bonnies to 34.5 percent shooting overall and 11.1 percent from the 3-point line.

They shot 75 percent from the field in the first quarter alone and 71.8 percent on their 2-point attempts. However, their game from behind the arc was less than satisfactory, putting in only three of their 24 attempts.

Junior guard Jackie Kemph went 8-of-13 from the field and surpassed her own school record for assists with 607. She also moved into 11th place on SLU’s career scoring list with 1,257 points. Senior center Sadie Stipanovich tallied 14 points and two blocks to move into third place on SLU’s career blocks list with 92. Junior forward Maddison Gits had a season-high nine rebounds.

SLU traveled to Philadelphia to take on the La Salle Explorers on Feb. 15. Te women took yet another win, 79-74.

The game began with both teams looking confident, but SLU took the upper hand at the closing of the first quarter, 18-14. The second quarter appeared much the same, both teams exchanging baskets with neither team able to pull far ahead. The first half ended with a Billiken lead, 34-31.

La Salle finally grabbed hold of the lead a handful of times in the final two quarters, but SLU’s discipline won out, especially at the free-throw line.

The Billikens now sit on an 11-3 record in A-10 play. They will face Richmond back at Chaifetz at 7 p.m. on Feb. 18.