Women Win Three

beat Fordham in double OT


Saint Louis University Athletics

Senior Maddison Gits evades a Davidson defender. Gits scored 34 points and grabbed 15 rebounds in the double-overtime win against Fordham.

The Women’s Basketball team returned to Chaifetz Arena on Jan. 31 for an A-10 rematch against Fordham after a buzzer-beating overtime win over George Washington in the nation’s capital. For the second time in two games, the Billikens went into overtime and came out victorious. Following the double overtime win over Fordham, the Billikens improved their in-conference record to 7-3 and their overall record to 13-10 with a win over Davidson.  

Earlier in January at Fordham, SLU lost to the Rams in a close 3-point game. Senior Maddison Gits said, “our team’s mindset was to get payback” going into the game. “All of us had a ‘go get ‘em’ attitude for that game,” she added.

The game was a matinee in front of a few thousand elementary and middle-school-aged children from the St. Louis area for the annual Education Day. Gits said, “playing for a crowd of young kids is awesome! The best part is when the lights go off before the game and they all scream at the top of their lungs. They think that is the coolest thing ever! It’s also very cool to see the different communities coming together to support us.”

The Billikens started off the game with a three-point bucket from Paige Rakers and continued strong to a 10-4 lead, but the Rams were able to replicate the run and take the lead.  They continued their strong offense and held the Bills scoreless for the rest of the first quarter.  

In the second quarter SLU was able to cut the lead minimally and went into halftime with a 14-point deficit. Gits said, “Coach Stone came in the locker room with a fierce look on her face. She was upset with how we executed offensively and how easy people were getting baskets on the defensive end. She told us it was going to be a fight to come back in the game but believed in us that we could do it if we did the “little” things right. By “little” things [she meant], rebounding, hustling after loose balls, and having heart.”   

SLU came out of the locker room fast and were able to tie the game in the third quarter with three 3-point baskets and Jackie Kemph gave the Bills the lead with two minutes left in the quarter. They were able to hold onto a 55-53 lead as the quarter ended.

The Billikens kept the lead throughout the fourth quarter, while the Rams struggled to get shots to drop. Fordham guard Bre Cavanaugh, tied the game with two free throws with just 10 seconds left in regulation, sending the game to overtime. “[The goal] in the first overtime was to jump out and get an early lead,” said Gits. No one was able to gain an upper hand and Jordyn Frantz’s buzzer-beating three-point-attempt fell short, taking the game into a second overtime.

“Our mindset in the second overtime was to stop Cavanaugh from scoring and attack the basket to draw fouls and get to the free-throw line,” said Gits. The Bills got out to a fast start in the second overtime period and were able to put Fordham away for good.  

Gits lead the Billikens with a career-high 34 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for her fourth consecutive double-double. Kemph and Rakers also reached double-digit points with 21 and 16 respectively. The Billikens returned to Chaifetz three days later for a matchup with Davidson.

SLU won the tip that opened the game and it was all Billikens from that point. Jenny Vliet opened up scoring with a three-point bucket and a layup making the score Vliet 5 and Davidson 0. At the end of the first quarter the Billikens led 18-16 and Vliet was already at the 10-point mark.  

The shooting slowed down in the second quarter for the Bills, but they connected free throws and offensive rebounds to keep the Wildcats at bay. They went into the locker room at the half with a 38-35 lead.

The Billikens started to pull away in the third quarter with Jordyn Frantz connecting both of her three-point shots. The strong offense gave SLU a 10-point lead to take a 64-51 score into the final stanza.  

The Wildcats struggled in the fourth quarter to cut the 13-point lead and the Bills were able to stretch it to 16 points for the 88-72 win. Maddison Gits recorded her fifth consecutive double-double in the contest.  Five Billikens recorded double-digit points including Kemph, Rakers, Vliet, Frantz, and Gits.  

Following the wins over Fordham and Davidson, the Bills traveled to Philadelphia for a matchup with the La Salle Explorers. SLU fell in a tough game 87-76. Kemph lead the team with 22 points followed closely by Gits’ 21, narrowly missing a sixth consecutive double-double by one rebound. The Bills were perfect at the line going 12-12 but it wasn’t enough to shut down the Explorers who out-rebounded SLU, 46-33.

With two wins and a loss, SLU moves to 13-11 overall and 7-4 in the Atlantic 10. The Bills are back in action with a trip to Rhode Island on Feb. 10. They are back at Chaifetz on Valentine’s Day for a match-up with Duquesne at 7 p.m.