Many students love to complain and compare stories from winter break about the weather they encountered while at home. However, the women’s basketball team had their own adventure caused by the weather. What was intended to be a two-day trip to New York turned into an eight-day east coast jaunt that began on Jan. 2 and ended on Jan. 9.
On Jan. 2, the Bills played their first A-10 conference game at Fordham University in the Bronx, NY. The Rams defeated the Billikens 74-52. Instead of boarding a plane the next morning and flying back to St. Louis, the team’s flight was cancelled after eight hours of waiting in the airport due to inclement weather in the Northeast, rendering them stuck in New York.
The cancellation caused what would have been the Bills A-10 home opener against Dayton, originally scheduled for Jan. 5, to be rescheduled for Feb. 17.
Following the cancellation of the flight, the team stayed in New York City until Monday, Jan. 6, where they then traveled by bus to Washington D.C. to play George Washington University on Jan. 8.
The team took advantage of the misfortune by sightseeing, making stops including Yankee Stadium, the Empire State Building and Rockefeller Center while in New York, and the Capital and a visit with Missouri state Senator Claire McCaskill while in Washington D.C.
The Bills lost their contest with George Washington 84-61. Freshman Erin Nelson led SLU in scoring with 17 points on the night. The Billikens also had two other players in double figures, as redshirt sophomore Jamesia Price added 14 and sophomore Denisha Womack scored 11.
Nelson is leading the Billikens in a number of statistical categories on the season thus far, including average minutes played with 35.8 and points per game with 14.1. Freshman Sadie Stipanovich leads the team in rebounds on the season with 117.
Most recently, the Billikens played Duquense to open their A-10 play at Chaifetz for the season. After a late run, SLU lost by a final score of 59-47. However, SLU held the Dukes to their second-lowest point total of the season, and also their third worst shooting performance, but the Billikens committed 21 turnovers.
As of press time, the Billikens, under second-year head coach Lisa Stone, are 5-11 overall and 0-3 in the A-10 Conference. SLU’s wins came over Valparaiso, Eastern Illinois, Tulsa, SEMO and Evansville. All of the wins came prior to the New Year.
The team is shooting .360 overall from the field and averaging 61.5 points per game. They are holding their opponents to an average 65.8 points per game, up from last year’s 57.9, which was the lowest average in 28 seasons.
Another notable statistic is home attendance for this season, which is an average of 538 over their seven games, where as SLU’s opponents are averaging 888 fans per game.
Upcoming games for the Billikens include on the road at St. Bonaventure on Jan. 18 and at Chaifetz Arena next Wednesday, Jan. 22, against Richmond. The Billikens then have a week on the road, where they play Rhode Island and St. Joseph’s, and then return home to play both La Salle on Feb. 1 and Fordham on Feb. 5.
St. Bonaventure is 12-6 overall and 1-2 in the A-10 as of press time. Recently, they lost to Duquesne 73-65, one of the teams that also defeated SLU. Last season, the Bills lost to the Bonnies 64-52.
Richmond has an overall record of 8-10 with recent losses to Fordham and St. Bonaventure. Last season, the Bills lost to Richmond at home 63-45.
Though the New Year has not brought the Billikens new victories, the A-10 season is still in the early stages with 14 conference games remaining.