Billikens Hold off UIC, Even Record with 58-49 Win
ST. LOUIS - Lorreal Jones led a balanced scoring effort with 15 points, and Saint Louis withstood Illinois-Chicago's second-half rally to beat the Flames 58-49 Monday night at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens, who have won two straight and four of five, evened their record at 4-4. UIC, which was held to its lowest point total of the season and 12 points under its average, slipped to 1-5.
SLU added to its school record for consecutive games holding an opponent to fewer than 50 points. The Bills have achieved the feat in five straight outings and are allowing an average of 46 points during that stretch.
Jones was 6-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. She tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds.
Mallory Eggert tallied 13 points (4-of-8 FG) and eight rebounds, while Courtney Webb hit three 3-pointers en route to a 13-point effort. Jacy Bradley and Desirae Ball scored seven points apiece and picked up four and three assists, respectively. Ball also snared five rebounds.
UIC's Emily Kobel was 5-of-11 from beyond the arc and finished with a game-high 17 points. Katie Hannemann contributed 10 points, eight rebounds (five offensive), three assists and three steals.
Saint Louis held Rachel Story, who came in with a 20.8 scoring average, to 10 points. Story had a game-high five assists. Taylor Foulks chipped in eight points and seven rebounds.
The Billikens earned a 40-30 rebounding advantage and outscored the Flames 17-7 from the foul line. SLU built an 11-point halftime lead by scoring 35 points, its highest total in any half this season.
"I'm very proud of our players for putting two wins together in three days and getting a win tonight against a UIC team that's pretty dangerous," head coach Lisa Stone said. "They've lost a couple of tough games, and they have a great player in Rachel Story. Desirae Ball did an outstanding job defensively against her, and Halee Castleman gave us great energy off the bench.
"We saw a zone tonight, which slowed us down and stymied us a little bit in the first half," Stone said. "But I thought we recognized some openings in the second half and got our post players involved. I love the balanced scoring and the fact that we're taking better care of the ball. We're not quite there yet, but we're growing and getting better."
A 15-5 run, including seven points from Jones, over the last 6:49 of the first half broke open a close game and gave the Billikens a 35-24 halftime lead, but UIC came out swinging after intermission.
A 9-0 spurt, punctuated by a Kobel trey, narrowed the Saint Louis lead to 35-33 less than three minutes into the second half. Baskets by Castleman and Ball expanded the margin to six points, but a Story free throw and a 3-pointer by Foulks made it 39-37 Billikens at the 14:27 mark.
The Bills gained some breathing room with a 7-0 run consisting of an Eggert layup, Ball's jumper, an Eggert free throw and a Jones layup. Kobel answered with a 3-pointer, and Hannemann's jumper trimmed the lead to 46-42 with 5:49 remaining.
Webb drained a crucial 3-pointer with time running out on the shot clock, and Eggert netted two free throws to stretch the lead to 51-42 with 2:27 to go. The margin was still nine, 53-44, when Jones responded to Story's bucket with a pair of free throws.
Story buried a triple to make it 53-47 with 1:28 left, and UIC forced a turnover on SLU's next possession. But the Flames could not take advantage, and Bradley sank four straight free throws with less than a minute remaining to ice the victory.The Billikens travel to Martin, Tenn., to face UT Martin Thursday, Dec. 6. Game time is 7 p.m.