WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Connecticut at Saint Louis
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018 • 6:05 p.m. CST
WHERE: Chaifetz Arena • St. Louis, Missouri
RECORDS: SLU 4-4; UConn 7-0
SERIES: First meeting
BILLIKENS’ LAST GAME: at SLU 63, SIUE 56 (Dec. 1) RECAP
HUSKIES' LAST GAME: UConn 89, at Notre Dame 71 (Dec. 2) RECAP
UP NEXT FOR THE BILLIKENS: Missouri • Sunday, Dec. 9 • 5 p.m. CST • Chaifetz Arena
• Riding a three-game winning streak, the Saint Louis Billikens (4-4) face their most difficult challenge of the season Tuesday, Dec. 4, when they host the 11-time national champion Connecticut Huskies (7-0). Tip time at Chaifetz Arena is 6:05 p.m. The game will be nationally televised on CBS Sports Network.
• Saint Louis and UConn are meeting for the first time in women's basketball.
• Tuesday's contest is the third of four straight games for the Billikens at Chaifetz Arena. The homestand concludes Sunday when the Billikens take on Missouri at 5 p.m.
• UConn, which undoubtedly will be ranked No. 1 in the nation following its 89-71 win at top-ranked Notre Dame on Sunday, is the third top-5 opponent in SLU women's basketball history. The Billikens played No. 4 Tennessee in the 2002-03 season and No. 5 Oklahoma in the 2008-09 campaign.
• The Billikens have been prolific from the foul line recently, going 42-of-57 (.737) over the last two games.
• Also over the last two outings, SLU has limited its opponents to 35.2 percent from the floor overall and 23.3 percent (7-of-30) from 3-point distance.
• Jordyn Frantz leads Saint Louis in scoring (15.0 ppg), 3-point field goals (22) and free throw percentage (.897). Frantz also contributes 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game. She has scored 57 points in the last three games (19.0 ppg) and has made 18 consecutive free throws.
• Ciaja Harbison scores 13.6 points per game and leads the Billikens with 4.0 assists and 1.5 steals per game. Harbison also grabs 3.8 rebounds per contest and shoots 81.6 percent from the foul line. She shot 51.3 percent (20-of-39) from the floor and averaged 17 points over the last three games.
• Evan Zars leads the Billikens in rebounding (5.4 rpg) and offensive rebounding (1.6 orpg).
• Kerri McMahan is playing a solid all-around game. McMahan averages 6.0 points, 5.3 rebounds and 3.0 assists, shoots 50 percent from the field and 78.6 percent from the free throw line, and has the Billikens' best assist-turnover ratio (1.6-to-1).
• In the low post, Kendra Wilken shoots 63.6 percent from the field and owns a 7.3 scoring average, while Amber Lindfors shoots 50 percent and scores 5.1 points per game. Lindfors hauls in 4.3 rebounds per game and has a team-high 14 blocks.
• Saint Louis has two players ranked among the top 10 scorers in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Jordyn Frantz (15.0 ppg) and Ciaja Harbison (13.6 ppg) are fourth and ninth, respectively.
• Frantz and Harbison also own top-10 spots in A-10 free throw shooting. Frantz is No. 2 at 89.7 percent (26-of-29), while Harbison is No. 10 at 81.6 percent (31-of-38).
• Saint Louis' victory at Virginia (ACC) Nov. 25 gave the Billikens at least one win over a Power 5 conference team for a third consecutive season. SLU defeated Ole Miss (SEC) last year and toppled Missouri (SEC) and Washington State (Pac-12) two years ago.
• Seventh-year head coach Lisa Stone brings a 111-90 record at Saint Louis into Saturday’s game. Now in her 33rd season as a collegiate head coach, Stone owns a 614-327 career mark.
A LOOK AT CONNECTICUT
• UConn returned three starters and six additional letterwinners from its 2017-18 team that was 36-1 and reached the Final Four. Among the returning starters are 2017-18 All-Americans Katie Lou Samuelson (first team) and Napheesa Collier (third team).
• Samuelson and Collier are joined by Crystal Dangerfield on the watch lists for this year’s John R. Wooden Award and Citizen Naismith Trophy, which are presented to the nation’s outstanding player.
• Through games of Dec. 1, the Huskies ranked among the nation’s top 10 teams in FG percentage (second), assist-turnover ratio (third), fewest turnovers (seventh), scoring defense (eighth), FG percentage defense (eighth), 3-point FG percentage (ninth) and fewest fouls (10th).
• All five UConn starters carry a double-digit scoring average, led by Samuelson (19.3 ppg) and Collier (18.0 ppg).
• Collier leads the team in rebounding, gathering 10.6 boards per game.
• Dangerfield is UConn's top playmaker, dishing out 5.1 assists per contest.