CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. - Jacy Bradley scored a game-high and team-season-high 24 points and Halee Castleman tied Saint Louis' season best with a career-high 12 rebounds, but it wasn't enough as Southeast Missouri State defeated the Billikens 59-52 Wednesday night at the Show-Me Center.
Bradley tied her career high with five 3-pointers (5-of-9) and was 9-of-17 from the floor overall. She added seven rebounds.
Castleman's rebounding performance helped the Billikens (6-9) edge the Redhawks (8-8) 40-39 on the glass. Denisha Womack, Courtney Webb and Mallory Eggert added five rebounds apiece. Eggert tied for game-high honors with four offensive boards.
Desirae Ball scored nine points and tied her career best with a game-high five assists.
Jordan Hunter led SEMO with 14 points, Bailie Roberts scored 10 and Olivia Hackmann added nine. Patricia Mack scored eight points and hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds.
"This is a very disappointing loss for us," head coach Lisa Stone said. "Not to take anything away from Southeast, because I thought they played well. I thought they played harder and had a better attitude toward the game than we did, and that's why I'm disappointed.
"We didn't dictate on defense," Stone said. "We let them get way too comfortable with the ball and didn't guard the 3-point line well. Offensively, we didn't get into any type of flow pretty much the whole game. Near the end we made a rush and hit some shots, but it didn't matter.
"We've got to get better at being ready to give 100 percent effort every game," Stone said. "We didn't do that tonight, and that's what's very disappointing to me."
A pair of Bradley 3-pointers sandwiched a three-point play by Womack as the Billikens took a 9-5 lead. The Redhawks scored six of the next eight points to forge an 11-11 tie.
After Ball's short baseline jumper put SLU back on top, SEMO connected on three treys in an 11-2 spurt that put the Redhawks in front 22-15. SEMO built the margin to 10, 28-18, before an Eggert layup and two Castleman free throws narrowed the lead to 28-22 at intermission.
However, Saint Louis failed to carry the momentum into the second half. The Billikens scored on just one of their first 11 possessions and saw SEMO build a 35-24 cushion.
Trailing 35-25, the Billikens climbed back into the game by scoring on six consecutive possessions.
Bradley sank a free throw and a jumper to make it 35-28. After the teams traded baskets on their next three possessions, Bradley took advantage of a SEMO miss and drilled a jumper from the foul line that trimmed the lead to 41-36 at the 8-minute mark.
That was as close as the Billikens would get, however. An 8-0 flurry gave SEMO its largest lead, 49-36, with 5:26 remaining. Bradley tallied 11 points in the final three minutes, including three treys, but the Redhawks netted eight of 10 free throws down the stretch to secure their third straight win.The Billikens begin Atlantic 10 Conference play Saturday, Jan. 12, at home against new league member VCU. Tip time at Chaifetz Arena is 7 p.m.