Women’s Basketball Makes History


Saint Louis University Women’s Basketball closed out their 2022-23 season after a year of transforming their challenges into success. Following a rough start to the season, the Billikens were able to flip the narrative by earning the Atlantic 10 (A10) Championship title. 

The Billikens started out their season with a 3-12 record. With the help of new leadership from head coach Rebecca Tillett, the Billikens held hope, eventually allowing them to grow from their unfortunate outcomes. 

Tillet mentioned in an interview with KMOV Saint Louis that when the outcomes were not favorable, she continued to push the team: “Let’s keep getting better,” said Tillett “We have a lot to learn.”

Although the Billikens had a mediocre start, they turned things around and won the last 11 of their 12 competitions. On the strength of the team, Tillett said, “Not everybody can be in that outcome driven environment and continue to rise up when things are difficult, and this group did that over and over again.” 

When entering the A10 tournament, the ladies aimed towards accomplishing one of the biggest feats in college basketball: securing a bid to the NCAA March Madness Tournament. The team played a strong game against Rhode Island in the semi-finals and ended with a final score of 59-56 to advance to the finals versus the University of Massachusetts Minutewomen. This challenge inspired the Billikens, and did not blur the women’s sights of bringing home their first A10 title. 

Senior Kyla McMakin entered the game averaging about 17.4 points per game for the season and ended the game scoring a total of 27 points for her team. Guard Julia Martinez clinched the second triple-double in SLU women’s basketball history with 17 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. Martinez was also named “Most Outstanding Player” in the A10 Tournament. After being named Atlantic 10 champions, the Billikens officially had a bid to the NCAA March Madness Tournament, the first ever in SLU Women’s Basketball history.

With the win secured, the team traveled to Knoxville, Tennessee to compete in the first round of March Madness in Thompson-Boling Arena, home of the Tennessee Volunteers. Saint Louis, a 13th seeded team, was scheduled to play Tennessee, a fourth seeded team. On Mar. 18, 2023t, the Billikens wrote their names in the SLU history books as the first team to make it to the tournament when they took the court that afternoon. Although the outcome of the game was not as they hoped, the team played a collaborative game for the last of the season. Top scorers included senior Brooke Flowers with 17 points, graduate student Camree Clegg with 12 points and senior McMakin with 11 points.

The results of this season show promise for the Billikens in upcoming seasons. In reflecting about their monumental, successful season, Martinez said, “Thinking about everything we’ve been through, all the obstacles, the fact that we were actually able to do it together as one whole team is such an accomplishment.” 


Despite the challenges faced on the way, the Billiken’s inspiring and historic season is unforgettable.