Strong second half lifts Billikens past Murray State

  ST. LOUIS – Desirae Ball led three Saint Louis double-figure scorers with 12 points, tying her season high, and the Billikens took command with a 23-5 second-half run in a 59-49 victory over Murray State Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

Jacy Bradley scored 11 points and collected a season-high seven rebounds. Janisha Gearlds tallied 10 points, five rebounds (game-high four offensive) and a game- and season-high six assists for the Billikens (2-4), who snapped a three-game losing streak.

Lorreal Jones netted eight points and grabbed a game-high 13 rebounds, giving her five double-digit board totals in six games this season. Kim Bee had seven rebounds and a SLU season-high five blocks, Courtney Webb tied her season high with six rebounds and Halee Castleman chipped in six caroms.

Murray State (2-4) got a game-high 16 points from Mariah Robinson, 14 points from Erica Burgess, eight rebounds from Kyra Watson and seven rebounds from Chanyere Hosey.

The Billikens earned a 61-49 advantage on the glass and held the Racers to 22.1 percent from the field, including 15.2 percent (5-of-33) from 3-point range.

Murray State narrowed SLU’s 24-19 halftime lead to 26-25 on a Burgess layup with 17:16 remaining. But a Mallory Eggert put-back of a Bradley miss on the Bills’ next possession ignited a 10-0 spurt that put Saint Louis on top 36-25 at the 14:34 mark.

That flurry was the front end of the 23-5 outburst that resulted in a 49-30 Billiken cushion with 7:48 to play. Seven different players scored during the run, led by Gearlds’ six points.

After Murray State took a 5-0 lead in the first two minutes, Saint Louis tied it on a Bradley 3-pointer and a bucket by Ball. The Racers pulled out to a 17-11 advantage with 8:13 left, but five different Billikens scored during a 13-2 run that resulted in a 24-19 lead at the break.

Saint Louis is back in action Saturday, Dec. 3, with a rematch against Murray State in Murray, Ky. Tip time is 7 p.m.

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