Saint Louis 70, Massachusetts 64
A-10 Championship First Round
Tuesday, February 27, 2018 | 7 p.m.
Chaifetz Arena | St. Louis, Mo.
• Saint Louis overcame a 16-point first-half deficit and defeated Massachusetts 70-64 in an Atlantic 10 Conference Championship first-round game Tuesday night at Chaifetz Arena.
• The Billikens (16-14) advance to Friday’s quarterfinals, where they will take on No. 2 seed Duquesne (23-6) at 3:30 p.m. (CST). The quarterfinals, Saturday’s semifinals and Sunday’s championship game will be played in Richmond, Virginia, at the Richmond Coliseum.
• UMass concluded its season with a 14-16 record.
• Jackie Kemph scored a game-high 21 points, including 19 in a second half that saw the Billikens score 44 points. Kemph, who also led all players with eight assists, was 6-of-11 from the floor and made nine free throws (9-of-10) for a third consecutive game.
• Kerri McMahan scored 15 points, equaling her best in a SLU uniform. McMahan was 6-of-8 from the field and added five rebounds and three assists.
• Jenny Vliet tallied 11 points, giving her 1,000 for her career. Vliet grabbed seven rebounds (four offensive) and blocked three shots, tying her season high and the game high.
• Aaliyah Covington had eight points (3-of-6 FG, 2-of-2 3-pointers), a team-high and career-high-tying eight rebounds, a season-high four assists and a career-high two blocks.
• The Billikens led just once, 3-2, on a Maddison Gits 3-pointer.
• Vliet’s layup with 5:24 left created the third tie of the quarter, 8-8.
• UMass outscored Saint Louis 12-3 the rest of the way and led 20-11 at the first-quarter buzzer.
• The Minutewomen expanded their advantage to 29-13 at the 6:07 mark.
• UMass was on top 36-21 with just over a minute remaining, but McMahan hit two buckets and Vliet added a free throw to pull the Billikens to within 10, 36-26, at intermission.
• UMass maintained control in the early going and led 39-30 with 6:52 left.
• A McMahan jumper seconds later ignited a 16-6 Saint Louis run that put the Billikens in front 46-45 at the end of the period. Kemph scored 10 of the 16 points.
• The Minutewomen recorded the first two baskets for a 49-46 lead.
• Covington responded with a trey to tie it, and McMahan answered a UMass field goal with one of her own for a 51-51 deadlock.
• Following a defensive stop, Kemph grabbed the rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup that put the Billikens ahead for good, 53-51, with 6:28 remaining.
• Vliet’s triple that gave her 1,000 career points also provided SLU with its largest lead, 60-52, at the 4:24 mark.
• UMass drew to within four points on three occasions, the last a 68-64 Saint Louis lead with 13 seconds left. But Kemph sank two free throws to secure the victory.
• Saint Louis committed a season-low five turnovers, its seventh single-digit total of the season and fourth in the last seven games.
• SLU held UMass leading scorer Hailey Leidel (15.9 ppg) to five points. Leidel, who came in ranked second in the A-10 in 3-pointers per game, was 0-for-9 from beyond the arc.
• The Billikens shot 81 percent (17-of-21) from the foul line, the 10th time this season (all against A-10 opponents) they have connected on at least 80 percent from the stripe.
• SLU tied its season high of 10 blocks it established in the regular-season meeting with UMass.
• Kemph played 39 minutes without a turnover. In the last two games, she has one turnover in 79 minutes.
Maggie Mulligan, 14 points, 19 rebounds, three blocks; Genesis Rivera, 13 points; Paige McCormick, 12 points, five rebounds; Bre Hampton-Bey, 10 points, nine rebounds; Leah McDerment, five assists.