WOMEN’S BASKETBALL PREVIEW: Saint Louis at VCU
WHEN: Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018 • 5 p.m. CST
WHERE: Siegel Center • Richmond, Va.
RECORDS: SLU 14-13, 8-6 Atlantic 10; VCU 6-20, 3-11 Atlantic 10
SLU-VCU SERIES: SLU leads 5-2 and has won four straight
SLU-VCU LAST MEETING: at SLU 77, VCU 72 (2/8/17) RECAP
BILLIKENS’ LAST GAME: George Washington 71, at SLU 58 (Feb. 17) RECAP
RAMS’ LAST GAME: at Richmond 59, VCU 54 (Feb. 18) RECAP
UP NEXT FOR THE BILLIKENS: Dayton • Saturday, Feb. 24 • 2 p.m. • Chaifetz Arena
A LOOK AT THE BILLIKENS
• Looking to snap a two-game skid, Saint Louis plays its final regular-season road contest of the year Wednesday, Feb. 21, when the Billikens take on the VCU Rams.
• With two games remaining, SLU is in seventh place in the Atlantic 10 Conference, one game behind George Washington and Saint Joseph's. The Billikens have clinched an A-10 Championship first-round home game, which will be played Tuesday, Feb. 27.
• The Bills are coming off a 71-58 loss to George Washington last Saturday. The Rams fell 59-54 at Richmond the following day, their third conference defeat by five or fewer points.
• In free throw percentage, Saint Louis leads the A-10 in conference games (.802) and is second in the league in all games (.753). Jackie Kemph (.864) is second in the A-10 in conference play. The Billikens have been on fire from the stripe recently, connecting on 60-of-69 (.870) over the last five games and 88-of-106 (.830) in the last seven outings.
• Also in conference action, SLU leads the A-10 in assists (17.4 apg) and assist-turnover ratio (1.46); ranks second in scoring offense (74.9 ppg) and blocks (4.4 bpg); is third in 3-point field goal percentage (.349); and stands fourth in 3-point field goals (7.4/game).
• SLU has taken good care of the ball recently. The Billikens have averaged just 10.2 turnovers in their last five contests, including a season-low seven at La Salle and eight vs. Duquesne.
• Jackie Kemph owns a commanding lead in assists in the A-10. She dishes 7.5 per game, 2.5 more than second-place Mariah Ruff of St. Bonaventure. Kemph is on pace to have career bests for a season in assists per game, A-TO ratio (currently 2.62) and fewest turnovers per 40 minutes (currently 3.04). Her 6.85 career assist average ranks second among NCAA Division I active players.
• Against A-10 opponents, Kemph tops the conference in assists (7.4 apg) and is third in A-TO ratio (2.71). Also ranking among the top 10 are Maddison Gits, fourth in defensive rebounding (8.5 drpg), fifth in rebounding (10.6 rpg) and tied for sixth in blocks (1.4 bpg); and Paige Rakers, seventh in field goal percentage (.486) and 10th in 3-pointers (2.3/game).
• Saint Louis has a chance to break two school season records. The Billikens have 106 blocked shots and need only 10 more to surpass the record of 115 set last year. With a success rate of .753 from the free throw line, SLU is within range of the school-record .763 established two seasons ago.
• Sixth-year head coach Lisa Stone takes a 104-83 record at Saint Louis into the VCU game. Now in her 32nd season overall as a collegiate head coach, Stone owns a 607-320 career mark.
A LOOK AT THE RAMS
• VCU returned two starters and three additional letter winners from its 2016-17 team that finished 16-15 overall and 8-8 (eighth place) in the A-10.
• The Rams have 12 underclassmen (eight freshmen, four sophomores) on their 14-player roster.
• Freshman guard Tera Reed leads the Rams in scoring (13.5 ppg) and free throw percentage (99-of-123, .805) and is tied for the team rebounding lead (6.1 rpg).
• Sophomore guard Jailyn Maddox is second to Reed with 8.4 points per game.
• Junior forward Bria Gibson also pulls down 6.1 rebounds per game.
• Sophomore guard Nyra Williams tops the VCU charts in assists (3.3 apg) and steals (1.6 spg), while sophomore center Danielle Hammond leads the team in field goal percentage (.538) and blocks (1.5 bpg).