WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW: St. Bonaventure at Saint Louis
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 31, 2017 • 2 p.m. CST
WHERE: Chaifetz Arena • St. Louis, Missouri
RECORDS: SLU 6-7, 0-0 Atlantic 10; St. Bonaventure 5-8, 0-0 Atlantic 10
SLU-ST. BONAVENTURE SERIES: St. Bonaventure leads 9-5; SLU leads 4-2 in St. Louis
SLU-ST. BONAVENTURE LAST MEETING: SLU 74, at St. Bonaventure 58 (2/11/17) RECAP
BILLIKENS’ LAST GAME: at SLU 77, Tulsa 66 (Dec. 19) RECAP
BONNIES’ LAST GAME: at Hofstra 71, St. Bonaventure 68 (Dec. 21) RECAP
UP NEXT FOR THE BILLIKENS: at Richmond • Wednesday, Jan. 3 • 6 p.m. CST • Richmond, Va.
A LOOK AT THE BILLIKENS
• Carrying a two-game winning streak, the Saint Louis Billikens begin their 13th Atlantic 10 Conference campaign Sunday, Dec. 31, against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies.
• SLU is aiming for a second consecutive victory in an A-10 opener after winning 106-69 at Davidson a year ago.
• The Billikens have been one of the most successful teams in A-10 women's basketball the past two seasons, ranking second with a 25-7 conference record.
• Two milestones could be reached in Sunday's game. Jackie Kemph needs just 17 points to break SLU's career scoring record of 1,585 points held by Sadie Stipanovich (2013-17). Also, head coach Lisa Stone comes in with 599 career wins. When Stone registers her 600th victory, she will become just the 34th coach in NCAA women’s basketball history (all three divisions, includes active and retired coaches) to do so.
• Both teams in Sunday's game feature a player who leads her squad in scoring and assists. Jackie Kemph averages team bests of 14.5 points and 7.6 assists for Saint Louis, while Mariah Ruff leads St. Bonaventure with 12.8 points and 5.5 assists per game. Kemph and Ruff share this season's A-10 single-game high of 14 assists.
• Maddison Gits is shooting 70.8 percent (34-of-48) over the last six games, a stretch that included 16 consecutive made field goals. Gits was 8-of-8 vs. Lipscomb, 8-of-9 vs. Vanderbilt and 6-of-7 vs. Missouri.
• Jenny Vliet is 9-of-19 (.474) from beyond the arc over the last five games. Vliet is the Bills’ leading rebounder over the last seven contests, averaging 9.6 boards.
• Jordyn Frantz sizzled from the field in SLU’s wins over Lipscomb and Tulsa. Frantz’s combined 11-of-18 (.611) shooting performance included an 8-of-12 (.667) effort from 3-point range.
• Saint Louis enjoyed its best back-to-back shooting performances of the season vs. Lipscomb and Tulsa. The Billikens connected on 55.4 percent (62-of-112) overall and 46.3 percent (19-of-41) from 3-point range in those contests.
• The Bills have pushed their season free throw percentage above 70 percent (.701) by connecting on 76 percent (35-of-46) from the stripe over the last two games.
• SLU has held three straight and four of its last five opponents to under 40-percent field goal shooting.
• The Billikens are the only A-10 women's basketball team to feature two players among the league's top 10 rebounders. Maddison Gits ranks sixth with 8.5 rebounds per game, while Jenny Vliet is eighth with 7.9 boards per contest.
• Sixth-year head coach Lisa Stone takes a 96-77 record at Saint Louis into the St. Bonaventure game. Now in her 32nd season overall as a collegiate head coach, Stone owns a 599-314 career mark.
A LOOK AT THE BONNIES
• St. Bonaventure began the season 4-2 but has lost three straight and six of its last seven. The Bonnies’ lone victory in their last seven outings was a win over Big Ten Conference member Penn State.
• The Bonnies have two starters and four additional letter winners back from last year’s team that was 9-20 overall and 4-12 (11th) in the A-10.
• Senior guard Mariah Ruff leads St. Bonaventure in scoring (12.8 ppg) and assists (5.5 apg).
• Junior guard Mckenna Maycock (12.4 ppg) and sophomore guard Danielle Migliore (10.7 ppg) also carry double-digit scoring averages. Maycock averages 7.8 rebounds and shoots a team-high 47.1 percent from 3-point distance, while Migliore leads the Bonnies with 31 3-pointers and pulls down 5.5 rebounds per game.
• Freshman forward Abigail Johnson owns a team-best 8.0 rebounding average.