Now in the final stage of the season, Billiken basketball makes their claims for conference champions. With both men’s and women’s teams playing games over the weekend and midweek, the season is ramping up for the postseason. Over the weekend, men played Rhode Island on Sunday and the women’s team played their senior night game on Saturday against Dayton. Some midweek A-10 action saw the fourth seed women play thirteenth seed George Mason at Chaifetz in the first round of the tournament. Meanwhile, the men wrapped up their final road game against George Mason on Wednesday.
The women fell in their final regular season game against first seed Dayton on senior night Saturday, Feb. 29. Dayton pulled ahead in the fourth quarter to steal a victory away from the Bills. The game was followed by a touching recognition of the two seniors Kendra Wilken and Hannah Dossett, as well as senior manager Jake Styve. Dossett spent the whole season out with a back injury and kept a positive attitude the whole season. Wilken is the star story for a senior, little playtime in her underclass years to a full time Billiken starter by her senior season. She gave an emotional speech to the home crowd shedding a few tears of gratitude in the process.
The men’s basketball team played against Rhode Island on Sunday, March 1. SLU topped Rhode Island 72-62 with standout performances from juniors Javonte Perkins and Jordan Goodwin who both posted 17 points in the match. Rhode Island came into the contest second in the A-10. The win over Rhody launched the Bills up 9 points in the NET rankings to 57, they now sit at 56 eclipsed by Rhode Island, Richmond and Dayton as of Wednesday.
The first round of the A-10 women’s basketball tournament picked up Tuesday, March 3 with a game against George Mason. The Bills beat George Mason earlier in the season 64-51 and looked to have the upper hand coming in. Both teams fought hard with a close game up to the third quarter. But the Bills took control of the game in the fourth to pull away. Standout freshman Rachel Kent led the Billikens with 19 points making five of her seven three point attempts. The Bills move on to Dayton where they will play five seed University of Massachusetts on Friday at 1 p.m.
On Wednesday, March 4, the men’s basketball team played against George Mason for their penultimate game of the regular season. The Billikens extend their win streak to four ahead of their final match on senior night this Saturday, March 7. The Bills played down one of their star players, sophomore guard Demarius Jacobs, who was suspended for violation of team rules. This suspension was announced by head coach Travis Ford prior to the start of the contest. Regardless, the Bills still pulled out the win 69-57. The Bills will look to continue their win streak against St. Bonaventure and contest the fourth seed in the A-10 prior to the tournament in Brooklyn.