Women’s basketball falls in second round of WNIT

The women’s basketball team finished their post-season play with a quarterfinal win against Fordham, 68-58, and a semifinal loss to Dayton, 75-65, in the Atlantic 10 Championship. However, due to their impressive performance over the course of the season, the Bills earned a place in the Women’s National Invitation Tournament and advanced to the second round. Their season came to a close with a loss against Indiana, 71-53.

SLU’s quarterfinal game was a battle in the first half. In the first quarter, the Bills came out strong when they took a 12-8 lead in just two minutes. They led the Rams, 18-14, at the end of the first period.

Fordham stayed close behind in the first half, but SLU was able to come out on top before intermission, 31-28. Sophomore guard Jordyn Frantz squandered the Rams’ chances with a 3-pointer three minutes into the third quarter and gave SLU the permanent lead, 34-32. The women finished the game with a double-digit lead in the last seven minutes of the game.

The true test came in the semifinal game when they faced their rival, Dayton. The first period proved promising for SLU, with a 21-12 lead after the first quarter. However, Dayton found their spark late in the second quarter and outscored the Bills 25-10 to take the lead at half.

The Flyers continued to pull away, taking a 62-49 lead in the third quarter.  SLU could not find a way to recover the deficit. The women did not draw within five despite a late 9-1 spurt in the fourth quarter.

While the conference season came to a disappointing end, SLU still had a chance to redeem themselves in the WNIT. The Billikens hosted IUPUI on March 16 and stole a 62-57 win after a late rally in the second half.

The women trailed early when IUPUI went on a 9-0 run to take the lead, 16-12. SLU still could not find a way to switch the momentum in the second quarter, but they remained hot on the Jaguars’ heels and only trailed by five going into halftime, 31-26.

SLU finally took charge of the game when senior center Sadie Stipanovich converted on a three-point play to take a 43-41 lead for her team. The play was the push the women needed to keep the momentum going into the fourth quarter. SLU went on a 6-0 spurt to lead the game, 51-43, and held off an answer from IUPUI with four points in a row from junior guard Jackie Kemph in the last few minutes.

SLU’s final game was a battle against Indiana on March 19. The Bills began the game on the front foot, leading 18-15 at the end of the first period. However, Indiana found a rhythm in the second quarter and took the lead for good, holding a 40-22 advantage at halftime. The women could not draw within any closer than 13 points of the lead, losing the match, 71-53.

The Billikens ended another remarkable season with a record of 25-9. Stipanovich concluded her time at SLU with 1,585 points, earning the top spot on the career scoring list, and 890 rebounds, earning second place on the career rebounds list. Senior forward Olivia Jakubicek also said her goodbyes with 671 rebounds, earning an eighth-place standing on SLU’s career rebounds list.

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