Women’s Basketball Working Hard Early in Season


Saint Louis Athletics

Maddison Gits scored a season-high 17 points and grabbed nine rebounds against Vanderbilt.

The Saint Louis University Women’s Basketball team traveled up to Chicago, Ill. for the Maggie Dixon Classic on the weekend of Nov. 17. The first matchup for the Bills saw a face off against Mississippi. Ole Miss came into the game with an unbeaten record, but the Bills blemished that record overcoming Ole Miss 79-64. The first quarter played out close, but senior guard Jackie Kemph put the Bills in the lead with two free throws, setting the score at 22-21 for the first quarter. The second quarter was just as close with the scores ending level at half at 41.

The second half belonged to the Bills as they outshot and outscored Ole Miss in the third and fourth quarters moving them on to play DePaul University in the championship match of the Maggie Dixon Classic. DePaul and SLU fought hard in the first quarter finishing at 26-20 with the Bills trailing. The second and third quarter saw SLU take the lead, outscoring DePaul in both quarters. The Bills slipped in the final quarter and ultimately fell 86-78. Though the Bills lost, Kemph was named to the All-Tournament team. The Women’s Basketball Team hopped back into action Nov. 21 when they took on SIUE. The Bills ran the show in the first quarter with junior center Tara Dusharm scoring 10 of the 25 Billiken points. SIUE took over the show for the second and third quarters, but SLU fought back in the fourth. SLU was unable to edge SIUE and lost 79-72.

Thanksgiving weekend led SLU to Las Vegas for the South Point Shootout. Stepping up to their first game of the tournament against Cleveland State, Head Coach Lisa Stone said, “We’re going to have to really dig down and demonstrate the toughness that we lacked in Edwardsville.” They demonstrated that toughness when a 3-pointer from junior guard Jordyn Frantz put the Bills in the lead which they kept for the entirety of the game. The season high 80 points gave the Bills a decisive victory over Cleveland 80-64.

The Bills continued to battle in the South Point Shootout against LSU. Senior forward Jenny Vliet earned her fourth career double-double with 12 points and 12 rebounds. The Bills played a strong first half, holding an eight-point lead over LSU. The third quarter slimmed down the margin, ending at 47-45 in favor of the Bills. A burst of energy saw LSU come into the fourth quarter and take control of the game. LSU put in 26 points compared to SLU’s 12, ending the game in favor of LSU at 71-59. Kemph was named to the AllTournament team once again.

SLU fell in a close game to the Vanderbilt University Commodores on Nov. 29 in at home in Chaifetz Arena. In the 74-69 effort, five Billikens contributed doubledigit points including Jackie Kemph (17), Maddie Gits (17), Jenny Vliet (11), Aaliyah Covington (10) and Paige Rakers (10). SLU won the opening tip but the Commodores were able to get on the board first with a three-point field goal. Billikens senior Jenny Vliet opened scoring for SLU with a matching three shortly after.

The Billikens went into halftime with a 34-32 lead. This is the third loss for the Billikens this season in which they went into halftime with a lead. The other two came against Louisiana State University and SIUE. A big difference maker in the game was in the free throws. SLU only earned two free throw attempts in the game and missed on both, whereas Vanderbilt shot an impressive .85 making 17 on 20 attempts. The Billikens had doubled up Vanderbilt in fouls with 18 to the Commodores 9.

The two teams were even with nine three-point field goals although SLU had more attempts. With just one minute left in the game, following a timeout, the teams exchanged threes before another timeout was called with Vanderbilt up 70-69. The lead changed 12 times during the game and the Billikens held the lead for 19:47 versus Vanderbilt’s 12:28 but SLU was unable to hold on in the end for the win.

The team has a short turn around and will play the Little Rock Trojans Friday, Dec. 1 at home in Chaifetz Arena at 7 p.m. The Billikens look to bounce back from the tough loss and plan to play tougher defense against the visiting 2-3 Trojans.