Numerous Career Highs Power Billikens Past UMass
ST. LOUIS - Courtney Webb scored 21 points, and three of her Saint Louis teammates registered career highs in various categories in the Billikens' 63-59 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over Massachusetts Wednesday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Webb, who played a career-high 34 minutes, was 8-of-15 from the field overall, 2-of-4 from beyond the arc and 3-of-4 from the foul line. It was her fifth game with 20 or more points this season. Webb added five rebounds.
Morgan Johnson recorded career highs of 15 points, seven rebounds, six free throws and seven free-throw attempts. Johnson was 3-of-7 from 3-point range, including two bombs in a 10-0 flurry that put the Billikens (9-17, 3-8 A-10) on top 36-30 at halftime. She scored all 10 points in the run.
Janisha Gearlds tallied a career- and game-high 10 assists. Gearlds, who now has 350 career helpers, moved past Star Jackson into third place on Saint Louis' all-time chart. She has 102 assists this season, good for fourth on the Bills' list for seniors.
Kim Bee grabbed career highs and game highs of 14 total rebounds and eight offensive boards. Her performance lifted SLU to a 41-34 advantage on the glass, giving the Billikens an edge in 22 of 26 games this season. Bee also had a game-high four blocks to move into a tie for seventh on SLU's all-time season list with 32 rejections.
Massachusetts' Emilie Teuscher was 6-of-8 from 3-point range and led all scorers with a career-high 22 points. Shakia Robinson turned in a 15-point, 11-rebound performance, Megan Zullo netted 14 points and Carolann Cloutier contributed seven assists.
Saint Louis enjoyed a significant advantage at the free-throw line, going 16-of-24 to 5-of-11 for UMass (6-20, 1-10 A-10). The Billikens also registered a big edge in points off turnovers, outscoring the Minutewomen 20-6 in that category. UMass had 19 turnovers to SLU's 14.
UMass, which scored on its first seven possessions, pulled out to a 15-8 lead and stayed in front until SLU used a 6-0 spurt to forge a 23-all tie with 4:57 left.
A bucket by Robinson put UMass back on top, and the Minutewomen led 30-26 when Johnson went to work for Saint Louis.
The freshman guard began her personal 10-0 outburst at the 2:07 mark with a pair of free throws after snaring a rebound on the defensive end. She drained a 3-pointer on each of the next two possessions to give the Billikens a 34-30 lead. Johnson completed the run by swishing two free throws with less than a second left, earning the trip to the stripe after sneaking in for an offensive rebound.
SLU led the entire second half but couldn't put UMass away. After the Minutewomen pulled to within one point twice early in the half, Johnson and Webb each buried a 3-pointer in an 8-1 spurt that gave the Billikens their largest lead, 49-41, with 12:41 remaining.
Massachusetts outscored SLU 8-2 to make it a 51-49 game with 8:19 to play, only to see Bee tally a free throw and Webb connect on two jumpers to stretch the Bills' advantage to 56-49 at the 6:10 mark.
Teuscher's final 3-pointer narrowed the gap to 57-55, and after Lorreal Jones responded with a jumper, Jasmine Watson's layup made it 59-57 SLU with 2:22 remaining.
The Bills came up empty on their next possession, but Teuscher's 3-point try for the lead was off the mark. Johnson secured the rebound, was fouled and sank both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 61-57 Saint Louis edge with 1:10 to go.
UMass committed turnovers on its next three possessions, and Jones sealed the victory by sinking two free throws with five seconds left.Saint Louis travels to Dayton to take on the Flyers Saturday, Feb. 18. Game time is 1 p.m. (CT).