Women’s Basketball End Season with Heartbreaking Loss


Saint Louis University Athletics

Seniors Jackie Kemph, Jenny Vliet, Maddison Gits, Head Coach Lisa Stone, seniors Paige Rakers, Aaliyah Covington, and Shea Shipman area all smiles on senior day.

The Women’s Basketball team had a busy two weeks, finishing up the regular season and participating in the Atlantic-10 Championship Tournament. After the tournament, SLU finished the season with a 17-15 overall record. Senior Night was held on Feb. 24 in Chaifetz Arena against Dayton, a team that, before their final game, had not lost to a conference foe this season.

SLU saluted their six seniors with an underdog win over the University of Dayton. At the end of the regular season the team finished with a 15-14 overall and 9-7 A-10 record. After the win, SLU solidified their spot at seventh in the conference and earned a home game for their first round of the Conference Championship.  

Following a win on senior night, the Billikens were granted the No. 7 seed for the tournament and matched up first with the University of Massachusetts for the first round, which was played at home at Chaifetz Arena. SLU was able to recover from a 16-point deficit in the first half to defeat UMass 70-64 in front of the home crowd. Senior guard Jackie Kemph scored a team high 21 points — 19 coming in the second half — and eight assists in her last game at Chaifetz Arena. Other notable Billikens include redshirt junior guard Kerri McMahan, who scored 15 points tying her career high. Senior forward Jenny Vliet also finished with double-digit points in her final game at home with 11, putting her into the 1,000-point club for her career.  

After defeating UMass, the Bills moved on to face No. 2 seed, Duquesne University in the quarter final in Richmond, Virginia. The Billikens were able to power past the Dukes for the 71-65 win. Kemph tied her career high with 28 points. Redshirt senior forward Paige Rakers had 15 points on a career high five 3-point field goals and Senior forward Maddison Gits earned her 11th double-double of the season with 10 points and 15 rebounds. Gits set a school record for most single-season boards with 297 after breaking the previous high of 284 set last year by Sadie Stipanovich.  

The Bills advanced to the semi-final against No. 6 Saint Joseph’s University where they fell short of making the final. The game marked the program’s third consecutive semi-final appearance for the Atlantic-10 Tournament. The Billikens fell to the Hawks in their final game of the season with a hard fought 58-49 loss. Kemph led the team with 17 points followed by Rakers who had 14. The Billikens trailed from early on in the first quarter and were unable to gain the lead back.