Richmond, Va. – VCU’s six game winning streak came screeching halt as the Saint Louis Billikens (11-4, 1-1) defeated the VCU Rams (12-3, 1-1) 77-72 to get their first win in the Atlantic 10. Jackie Kemph scored a game-high 23 points for the Billikens. Adaeze Alaeze led the Rams with 20 points, seven rebounds, and four assists.
Saint Louis was rolling early in the first quarter as they were able to establish a quick tempo to the game. The Billikens scored six points early on the break. The Rams were later used to the quick tempo to their advantage forcing the Billikens to commit five turnovers in the first quarter. The Rams were able to score eight points off those turnovers. This would allow the Rams to go up 20-18 at the end of the quarter.
VCU went on a 6-0 early in the second to lead 28-19. Billikens would later go on a 13-2 run that included three three-pointers to that would give the Billikens a 32-30 lead with 2:43 to go in the half. In the midst of that run, the Rams would go cold from the field as they were unable to score for over four minutes. It would be until the 1:57 before the Rams would snap out of their drought with Adaeze Alaeze converting a three-point play to give the Rams the lead once again. This would kickstart a 7-2 run by the Rams which would give them a 37-34 at the intermission. The Rams shot 49% in the half.
Both teams traded baskets to start out the seconds half, even converting on consecutive three point plays. The Billikens would tie the game at 44 with 5:49 to go in the third after going on a 7-0 run. Curteeona Brelove would quickly give VCU the lead back with a layup before SLU’s, Jamesia Price tied it up once again with a layup. Foul was on Adaeze Alaeze and technical foul was called on her right after. Jordan Frantz hit the technical free throws and Price would hit her free throw. This was part of a 15-2 run for the Billikens that would give the Billikens the lead 52-46 with three minutes to go in the third. The Rams were able to trim deficit to down to one, 58-57, at the end of the quarter with Keira Robinson hitting a three as time expired. VCU’s shooting percentage dipped a bit as they shot 6-19 in the quarter.
Both teams played a close game in the fourth quarter. The Billikens would go up by as much as eight with 3:14 to go. VCU clawed by and eventually cut the lead down to one with 15 seconds to go after Brelove scored with a layup. Jackie Kemph would hit two free throws to go up by three. Adaeze Alaeze had a good look at a game-tying three-pointer, but the ball would hit off the back iron. Aaliyah Covington would ice the game with two more free throws to give the Billikens the road victory.
The Rams will return to action on Sunday to face the Saint Joseph’s Hawks at the Siegel Center. Tip-off is scheduled for 1:00.