Billikens’ Late Comeback Bid Falls Just Short
ST. LOUIS - Mallory Eggert recorded her third consecutive double-double, but a late Saint Louis surge fell just short in the Billikens' 62-60 loss to Drake Sunday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Eggert scored 11 points on 5-of-9 shooting and collected a game-high 10 rebounds, including eight in the second half. A Saint Louis player has posted a double-double in five straight games.
Courtney Webb led the SLU scoring effort with 12 points on 5-of-10 shooting. Lorreal Jones tallied 10 points and seven rebounds for the Bills (4-7).
Drake (5-4), which ran its winning streak to four, got a game-high 21 points from Rachael Hackbarth and 13 points from Kyndal Clark, who was 3-of-3 in 3-point attempts. Hackbarth and Stephanie Running grabbed eight and six rebounds, respectively, while Hackbarth and Clark tied for game-high honors with four assists apiece.
Drake was on top 40-31 at halftime and, after surviving SLU's early second-half push, built a 47-37 advantage with 14:53 left. A 10-4 run over the next six minutes pulled the Billikens to within four points, 51-47, at the 8:43 mark.
The Bulldogs of the Missouri Valley Conference seemed to regain control with a 9-2 spurt that resulted in a 60-49 cushion with 6:57 remaining. However, Drake would not register a field goal the rest of the way, and Saint Louis gradually fought its way back to within striking distance.
Single free throws by Jones, Janisha Gearlds and Desirae Ball trimmed the Drake lead to eight. Two Hackbarth free throws, which turned out to be Drake's final points, restored the Bulldog advantage to double digits with 2:45 remaining.
Bradley immediately responded with a bucket, and Eggert's three-point play made it a two-possession game, 62-57, at the 1:37 mark. After the teams traded empty possessions, Jamesia Price made a steal, was fouled and sank the first of two free throws with 36 seconds left to narrow the Drake lead to 62-58.
Although Price missed her second attempt, Saint Louis secured the rebound and had several chances to score. However, the Bills could not get a shot to fall, and after the Bulldogs missed two free throws with six seconds left, a SLU basket at the buzzer accounted for the final score.
Both teams enjoyed a fast start. Drake hit its first six shots from the field, while the Billikens made four of their first six as the game was tied 9-9 less than three minutes in.
After Drake went up 16-11, SLU embarked on an 8-0 run to turn a five-point deficit into a three-point lead. Webb started the rally with a jumper, and Gearlds and Price each had a basket in the paint. Webb completed the rally with a lay-in as the Billikens claimed a 19-16 advantage with 12:47 to go in the first half.
Drake answered with a 16-4 run, capped by a pair of 3-pointers by Clark, to take a 32-23 advantage with 6:18 remaining. The Billikens trailed 40-31 at halftime as Drake shot a sizzling 61.5 percent from the field and 60 percent (3-of-5) from deep in the first half.The Billikens conclude a three-game homestand Tuesday, Dec. 20, when they welcome UMKC to Chaifetz Arena. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m.