Bonnies out-sized by Billikens in loss

By Mikael DeSanto

Sports Editor

The St. Bonaventure University women’s basketball team dropped another game in Atlantic 10 play this afternoon, falling to the Saint Louis Billikens, 74-58, exactly one month after losing at Saint Louis 64-49. The Billikens have now won 20 games for the consecutive season.

“Saint Louis is better than us. You can see that from the floor,” Bonnies Head Coach Jesse Fleming said. “[Junior guard] Jackie Kemph is a great player. You have to give something away for Jackie and we gave her a step, made the first couple of threes and any time there is transition opportunity, the kid can just get down-hill and make plays.”

The Billikens (20-6, 10-3 A10) used their size to control the game, outscoring the Bonnies (9-16, 4-9 A10) in the paint 50-22. They also scored nine second chance points to the Bonnies two.

“Our size is very valuable,” Billikens Head Coach Lisa Stone said. “The other thing is, if you look at our size but you look at someone like [senior forward Olivia Jakubicek], she is a four player, one of our best defensive players, but we’ll switch 1-4 and then keep [senior center Sadie Stipanovich] on Richmond the best we could to try to keep our matchups.”

The Bonnies struggled with turnovers, giving the ball up 12 times, which resulted in 18 points off turnovers and 13 points on the fast break for the Billikens. The Billikens nearly equaled a school record for fewest turnovers in a game with seven, one more than the record.

However, the Bonnies did out-rebound the Billikens 35-34 and equaled them in bench, with each finishing with 17 points.

“I thought [sophomore guard Mckenna Maycock] and mixed it up, I thought [graduate forward Gabby Richmond] kept competing,” Fleming said. “There were some good things there, especially with them shooting 50 percent so there wasn’t many rebounds to be had, but eight offensive rebounds shows our effort there.”

The Billikens took control of the game early by out-scoring the Bonnies 26-16 in the first quarter after going 12-16 (75 percent) from the field. Despite a quiet second quarter for both teams, during which they combined for 14 points, the Bonnies headed to the locker room down 36-20.

Kemph topped the Billikens in the first half with 14 points, while Bonnies’ junior guard Mariah Ruff led the Bonnies with 12 of the 20 first half points.

A 12-2 run for the Billikens in the latter half of the third quarter pushed their lead to 56-29. The run finished with six consecutive points for Kemph.

Though the Bonnies would make a push in the fourth quarter, scoring 23 points to the Billikens 14, the comeback would fall short and the Billikens would secure the win on the road.

Kemph finished with a team leading 20 points and handed out eight assists for the Billikens. Stipanovich added 14 points and four rebounds and Jakubicek contributed 10 points and five rebounds.

“I think a lot of it was the rest of the team,” Kemph said. “Sadie was making her shots inside and they really had to get in there and double her, sometimes triple her inside, which opened a lot of stuff up for the rest of the team. [Redshirt sophomore Kerri McMahan] just sprints the floor so hard; I know she had at least two or three of my assists.”

Richmond scored 14 points and grabbed six rebounds in the second half to give her 20 points and 11 rebounds for the game, which led the Bonnies. Ruff ended the game with 18 points and five rebounds.

The Bonnies will next play Wednesday at 7 p.m. when they take on George Washington on the road.