WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Saint Louis at Maggie Dixon Classic
TEAMS: Saint Louis (1-1), Ole Miss (2-0), DePaul (host, 1-1), Delaware State (0-1)
WHEN: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 17-18, 2017 • 4 p.m. CST Friday; TBA Saturday
WHERE: Wintrust Arena • Chicago, Ill.
BILLIKENS’ LAST GAME: Loyola Marymount 62, at SLU 60 (Nov. 13) RECAP
UP NEXT FOR THE BILLIKENS: at SIUE • Tuesday, Nov. 21 • 7 p.m. CST • Edwardsville, Ill.
A LOOK AT THE BILLIKENS
• The Saint Louis Billikens are in Chicago Friday and Saturday, Nov. 17-18, for the first of two tournaments on their 2017-18 schedule, DePaul’s Maggie Dixon Classic.
• The Billikens take on Ole Miss in the tournament opener Friday at 4 p.m., while DePaul and Delaware State square off at 6:30 p.m. SLU’s Saturday game time (4 or 6:30) depends upon the outcome of Friday’s contests; however, DePaul will play the 4 p.m. game regardless of its Friday result.
• The Saint Louis-Ole Miss game will be the first women’s basketball game played in DePaul’s new Wintrust Arena.
• The Maggie Dixon Classic is SLU’s first tournament since the Billikens competed in the Tulane Classic two years ago.
• The Billikens have never met Ole Miss or Delaware State on the hardwood. SLU and DePaul once were conference rivals, first in the Great Midwest Conference, then in Conference USA. The Blue Demons lead the all-time series 22-6.
• Saint Louis looks to rebound from a last-second, 62-60 loss to Loyola Marymount in its home opener Nov. 13. Jackie Kemph (21 points, seven assists) and Maddison Gits (12 points, 11 rebounds) led the Bills.
• Kemph leads the Billikens in scoring (18.0 ppg) and assists (6.0 apg). The two-time Atlantic 10 Conference Player of the Year already is 20-of-24 (.833) from the free throw line. Gits tops the SLU charts in rebounding (14.0 rpg) and field goal percentage (.481) while averaging 14.0 points.
• For a second consecutive year, Kemph is one of 20 players named to the Nancy Lieberman Award Watch List. The Lieberman Award is presented to the top point guard in NCAA Division I women’s basketball.
• With 1,416 career points, Kemph needs just 170 points to pass Sadie Stipanovich as the Billikens’ all-time leading scorer.
• Sixth-year head coach Lisa Stone brings a 91-71 record at Saint Louis into the tournament. Now in her 32nd season overall as a collegiate head coach, Stone owns a 594-308 career mark.
THE MAGGIE DIXON CLASSIC FIELD
• Ole Miss – The Rebels, who played in the 2017 WNIT, notched home wins over Northwestern State (75-44) and Kennesaw State (92-63) … Ole Miss is shooting 53 percent from the field overall and 41 percent from 3-point distance … junior guard Madinah Muhammad averages team highs of 21.5 points and 8.5 assists and is 8-of-15 (53 percent) from 3-point range … senior guard Shandricka Sessom is 5-of-11 (46 percent) from the arc and averages 17.5 points and a team-high 6.5 rebounds … freshman forward Promise Taylor, the reigning Southeastern Conference Freshman of the Week, is 14-of-17 (82 percent) from the field and carries a 16.0 scoring average.
• DePaul – The defending Big East Conference champion Blue Demons reached the second round of the 2017 NCAA Championship, the program’s 22nd NCAA appearance … this season, DePaul fell 94-88 to Northern Colorado and defeated No. 21 Oklahoma 111-108 in overtime … the Blue Demons averaged 13.5 treys and 11.5 steals in their first two outings … five DePaul players own double-figure scoring averages – senior guard Amarah Coleman (19.5 ppg), junior guard Ashton Millender (17.5 ppg), junior forward Mart’e Grays (15.0 ppg), sophomore guard Kelly Campbell (14.5 ppg) and junior guard Tanita Allen (13.5 ppg) … Campbell dishes out 6.5 assists per game, Allen corrals 8.0 rebounds per game, and sophomore forward Chante Stonewall has a 4.0 steals average.
• Delaware State – The Hornets of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference opened with a 96-72 loss at Temple … junior forward NaJai Pollard led four Delaware State players in double figures with 21 points … sophomore guard Lanayjha Ashe tossed in 14 points, sophomore forward Kia Abrams had 13 points, and freshman guard Ryan Jones had 10 points and four steals … junior guard Keke Barber collected eight rebounds.