BILLS HEAD SOUTH FOR TOUGH CHALLENGE - After defeating Valparaiso and Illinois-Chicago in its two most recent outings, Saint Louis (4-4) will seek its first three-game winning streak since late in the 2009-10 campaign when the Billikens face UT Martin (3-6) Thursday, Dec. 6. Tip time is 7 p.m. at UTM's Skyhawk Arena. SLU has won four of five for the first time since 2009-10. UT Martin is coming off an 82-71 loss at Missouri Dec. 3.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION - Free live statistics are available for the Saint Louis-UT Martin game. The link for this feature can be found in the schedule box located just below the main photo on www.SLUBillikens.com.
LAST TIME OUT - 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 Dec. 3 at Chaifetz Arena. Jones was 6-of-10 from the floor and 3-of-3 from the foul line. She tied for game-high honors with eight rebounds. Mallory Eggert tallied 13 points 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. The Billikens earned a 40-30 rebounding advantage and outscored the Flames 17-7 from the foul line.
ABOUT THE BILLIKENS - Lorreal Jones leads Saint Louis in scoring (11.9 ppg), rebounding (7.8 rpg) and offensive rebounding (3.3 orpg). Courtney Webb checks in with 11.3 points per game, 4.1 rebounds per game and a team-high 15 3-pointers. Mallory Eggert is third in scoring (10.8 ppg), second in rebounding (7.1 rpg) and first in steals (1.5 spg) while shooting a team-high 52.4 percent from the floor. Desirae Ball owns a 7.1 scoring mark, and Jacy Bradley averages 5.8 points and 3.9 rebounds while leading the squad in assists (5.0 apg). The Bills are +7.8 in rebounding margin, are shooting 40 percent from the field and 74 percent from the free-throw line, and are allowing 52.6 points per game.
SCOUTING UT MARTIN - Three starters are back from the Skyhawks' 2011-12 team that went 23-9 overall, captured the Ohio Valley Conference regular-season (15-1 record) and tournament titles, and played in the NCAA Tournament. Junior guards Heather Butler and Jasmine Newsome, who last year averaged 23.8 and 19.6 points, respectively, are leading the way again. Butler carries a 20.7 scoring average and buries three 3-pointers per game, while Newsome averages 20.4 points to go with team highs of 5.7 rebounds, 6.1 assists and 3.0 steals. UTM has played a difficult schedule that included No. 3 Baylor, No. 1 Stanford and No. 8 Louisville in succession during a 10-day stretch in November.
THE SLU-UT MARTIN SERIES - The Skyhawks' 70-55 victory in St. Louis last season gave them a 6-3 series advantage. Jacy Bradley had 18 points and five assists, while Lorreal Jones and Halee Castleman grabbed 11 and eight rebounds, respectively. UTM edged the Billikens 71-68 when the teams last met in Martin Nov. 27, 2007.UP NEXT - The Billikens play their last game before final exams Sunday, Dec. 9, at Evansville. Tip time is 1 p.m.