Bills Use Second-Half Spurt to Topple Winthrop
ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis erupted for a 24-5 run in the second half and held off a late Winthrop flurry to post a 62-53 victory over the Eagles Monday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Five players scored in double figures for the Billikens (6-8), who snapped a three-game losing streak. It was the first time since Nov. 30, 2009, that five SLU players have registered a double-digit scoring total.
Winthrop slipped to 6-6 with its second straight loss. The Eagles' 53 points tied their season low.
Jacy Bradley led Saint Louis with 15 points. Bradley tied her career best with a game-high eight assists, and she grabbed six rebounds.
Courtney Webb tied her career high with four 3-pointers (4-of-7) en route to a 14-point performance. Webb's effort from beyond the arc led the Billikens to a season-high eight treys (8-of-21).
Denisha Womack produced career highs of 11 points, eight rebounds, three blocks and two steals. Desirae Ball and Mallory Eggert scored 10 points apiece, with Ball also contributing four assists and Eggert adding six rebounds (four offensive).
Halee Castleman tied her career high with eight rebounds as the Bills edged the Eagles 43-41 on the glass. Erika Cook chipped in a career-high three rebounds.
Winthrop's Dequesha McClanahan had game highs of 17 points and four steals while also notching eight rebounds and seven assists. Samiya Wright tallied 14 points, Schaquilla Nunn had 11 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks, and Taylor Calvert pulled down a game-high 11 rebounds.
The Billikens held Diana Choibekova, who came in ranked second nationally in 3-point field goals (3.73 per game), to two points. Choibekova was 0-of-6 from beyond the arc.
Saint Louis saw a 26-25 halftime lead evaporate early in the second half as Winthrop outscored the Billikens 11-6 in the first four minutes. Nunn hit two buckets, and a McClanahan trey put the Eagles on top 36-32.
Ball's fast-break layup ignited the 24-5 outburst, and Bradley's 3-pointer gave SLU the lead for good, 37-36. Webb drained two triples and Ball buried another, all on consecutive possessions, for a 46-36 advantage at the 11:20 mark.
The lead expanded to 52-39 with two Eggert free throws, a Bradley jumper and an Eggert layup. Nunn's layup - the first Winthrop field goal in almost 10 minutes - cut the lead to 11. But the Bills answered with a Womack free throw, a Bradley jumper and another Womack free throw for their largest lead, 56-41, with 4:43 left.
Winthrop responded with a 12-1 spurt to narrow the gap to 57-53. SLU sealed the win, however, by going 5-of-6 from the stripe and holding Winthrop scoreless in the final 35 seconds.
After Winthrop took a 10-9 lead, Saint Louis assembled a 15-6 run to claim its largest first-half lead, 24-16, with 5:45 remaining. Webb knocked down a pair of 3-pointers, Womack scored four points and Ball connected from beyond the arc to highlight the run.
Winthrop regained the upper hand with a 9-0 spurt, but a short jumper by Eggert sent Saint Louis to the locker room with a one-point advantage.The Billikens conclude non-conference play Wednesday, Jan. 9, at Southeast Missouri State. Tip time in Cape Girardeau is 6:30 p.m.