ST. LOUIS—Fourth-seeded Saint Louis shot 55.6 percent from the field, 52.2 percent from 3-point range and placed five players in double figures to cruise past No. 13 Massachusetts, 91-51, in the First Round of the 2017 Atlantic 10 Women’s Basketball Championship Sunday at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens (23-7) advance to face fifth-seeded Fordham at 2:00 pm ET Friday in the quarterfinals. That game, along with the other three quarterfinals, will air on American Sports Network (ASN) and online at americansportsnet.com/live. The quarterfinals, semifinals and championship final will all be played in Richmond, Va., at the Richmond Coliseum for the fourth straight year.
Seven SLU players shot 50 percent or better from the field, including Jackie Kemph, who went 7-for-9 (.777) from the field, including 4-of-5 (.800) from 3-point range to score a game-high 20 points. She also had a game-high nine assists. Kerri McMahan was 5-for-6 (.833) from the field to tally 13 points for the Billikens.
SLU held a 16-10 lead after the first quarter, but exploded for 32 points in the second quarter. Leading 18-13 one minute into the period, Saint Louis went on a 17-4 run, sparked by 3-pointers from Kemph and Jenny Vliet and capped by a triple from Nelson. Maddison Gits also added a pair of buckets over the six and half minute span, during which UMass was held to a single Alyx Stiff jumper and a pair of Maggie Mulligan free throws. The Billikens outscored the Minutemen 32-15 in that second period, establishing a 48-25 advantage at halftime that was not challenged in the second half.
Mulligan led UMass with 16 points, eight rebounds and a game-high five blocks. Hailey Leidel tallied 14 points. Leah McDerment had a team-high eight assists. The Minutewomen close the season at 9-21.
Vliet had 11 points and a game-high five blocks for SLU and Jordyn Frantz and Gits each had 10, with Frantz adding six assists. Kemph also had a game-high four steals.