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Lorreal Jones narrowly missed a double-double.
Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics

Billikens Earn First Win, Down UNO 51-42

Courtesy: Saint Louis Athletics
          Release: 11/21/2012
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OMAHA, Neb. - Lorreal Jones and Mallory Eggert combined for 24 points and 16 rebounds to lead Saint Louis to a 51-42 victory over Nebraska Omaha Wednesday afternoon at Sapp Fieldhouse.

The Billikens, who take on Western Illinois Saturday at 2 p.m. in their home opener, improved to 1-3. Nebraska Omaha fell to 3-1.

Jones and Eggert tied for game-high scoring honors with 12 points apiece. Jones grabbed a game-high nine rebounds, while Eggert and Jacy Bradley collected seven boards apiece.

Desirae Ball tied her career high with six rebounds and Halee Castleman added five as Saint Louis dominated UNO 46-23 on the glass. That margin included a 13-5 edge in offensive rebounding that led to a 15-4 advantage in second-chance points.

Ball and Courtney Webb tallied eight points apiece for SLU, which enjoyed another strong outing at the foul line. The Billikens shot 79 percent (15-of-19) from the stripe to 6-of-8 for UNO.

Paige Frauendorfer led Omaha with 11 points and seven rebounds. Jamie Nash posted 11 points, five assists and four steals.

In addition to their sizable rebounding advantage, the Billikens held the Mavericks to 30-percent shooting.

"I'm really proud of our team's defensive effort today," said head coach Lisa Stone, who recorded her first win at SLU. "We held a 3-0 team that was averaging 72 points to 42 points. We had a very good commitment on the defensive end and finished by rebounding extremely well. And, our offensive pace and purpose are getting better."

A 12-4 run to start the second half allowed Omaha to trim an 11-point halftime deficit to three, 31-28.

The Billikens responded with a 9-3 spurt to expand their lead to nine. Eggert made a free throw, and Webb hit a jumper from the right baseline. Jenna Mueller gathered an offensive rebound and scored, and Jones buried two straight jumpers for a 40-31 SLU lead.

Jones' long 2-pointer from the top of the key made it 42-33. Following a UNO trey that trimmed the lead to six, Ball grabbed an offensive rebound, was fouled on a successful jumper and converted the three-point play for a 45-36 Billiken lead.

Omaha scored on its next two tries to make it a five-point game at the 2-minute mark, but Saint Louis forced turnovers on the Mavericks' next two possessions to maintain control. Six straight free throws in the closing seconds - four by Bradley and two by Castleman - secured the victory.

"When Omaha made a run at us in the second half, we held on and never relinquished the lead," Stone said. "We still have a long way to go, but it feels really good to get that first win."

The Billikens jumped out to a 13-2 lead, holding Omaha to one field goal in the Mavericks' first 14 possessions.

Meanwhile, SLU scored on six of its first nine touches. Jones drove the lane for a layup, followed by a Webb layup. Eggert sank three of four free throws, hit a 13-foot jumper in the lane and converted two more from the stripe. Later, Webb's 15-footer from the left wing finished the opening run.

UNO narrowed the Saint Louis lead to 18-10, but the Billikens answered with a 7-0 spurt to establish their largest lead of the game, 25-10. Mueller received a feed from Webb for a layup, Jones made a layup, Ball netted a free throw and Webb buried a 15-footer from the right baseline. SLU went on to lead 27-16 at the break.
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