COLUMBIA, Mo. - Courtney Webb poured in 17 points and Lorreal Jones added 12, but Missouri used a 3-point shooting barrage to defeat Saint Louis 67-51 Friday night at Mizzou Arena in the season opener for both teams.
Jones and Mallory Eggert tied for game-high rebounding honors with eight caroms apiece for the Billikens, whose 37-30 advantage on the boards included a 13-9 edge on offensive glass. Jones grabbed a game-high-tying four offensive rebounds.
Jacy Bradley added nine points, five rebounds and four assists for Saint Louis, and Eggert made a career-high three steals.
Missouri's Bri Kulas was 4-of-6 from beyond the arc and finished with a game-high 18 points. Maddie Stock scored 11 points, Darian Saunders had eight rebounds and Lianna Doty registered eight assists and three steals.
The Tigers were 13-of-36 from 3-point range, with six different players notching at least one trey. Stock and Morgan Eye had three apiece.
The Billikens shot just 26 percent from the floor in the first half but stayed close by netting 14 of 16 free-throw attempts. SLU finished 17-of-20 from the line.
"I'm really encouraged by what I saw in the first half," head coach Lisa Stone said. "We're changing the culture. We have nine bodies who are going to contribute in their own way. We played well defensively in the first half and got several offensive rebounds. We've got some people who can really get on the boards.
"I thought we gave Missouri all they could handle," Stone said. "I'm really excited about what's to come for our team. I'm proud of their efforts, and I'm excited that they're trying to play team basketball. We're going to play and compete in every single game. They're disappointed in the locker room, and that's a good sign."
Bradley's long 2-pointer on SLU's second possession of the second half brought the Billikens to within a point, 32-31. The Bills had two chances to take the lead but could not take advantage.
Stock and Kyley Simmons drilled 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Missouri ahead 38-31. SLU made it a five-point game on Bradley's runner in the lane, and the Bills later narrowed the deficit to five again, 40-35, when Jones gathered an offensive rebound and scored.
A 15-1 flurry gave Missouri a 55-36 cushion with 7:01 to play, but the Billikens rallied with a 7-0 spurt of their own to stay alive. Webb connected on a pull-up jumper and drained a trey, and Jones' layup following Bradley's offensive rebound made it 55-43 with 5:39 remaining. However, the Bills would draw no closer.
SLU led 6-3 after Eggert turned an offensive rebound into a layup. Kulas hit 3-pointers on consecutive possessions to put Missouri on top 9-6, but the Billikens pulled even on Webb's trey from the left wing.
After the Bills took a 12-11 edge on two Webb free throws, Missouri went on a 15-5 run to claim its largest first-half lead, 26-17. That's when SLU began its parade to the free-throw line, converting 9-of-10 from the stripe in a seven-possession stretch to trim the MU advantage to 29-26.
Webb answered Eye's 3-pointer with a triple of her own, and it was 32-29 Tigers at intermission.The Billikens are back in action Thursday, Nov. 15, at UMKC.