(ST. LOUIS, MO) The St. Louis Surges 2015 campaign has been highlighted by powerful opening stretches that have resulted in leads at the first quarters conclusion.
The latest, and most impressive, benchmark occurred Saturday night at UMSLs Mark Twain Building as the Surge utilized a 21-0 opening stanza en route to a 105-39exhibition victory over the Springfield (IL) Lady Grizzlies.
The 66-point win netted St. Louis its sixth straight win and pushed the teams home winning streak at UMSL to a dozen games.
On paper prior to the opening tip, the match-up heavily favored the Surge, the defending national champions of the Womens Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL), over the newly-christened Central Illinoisan franchise of the Womens American Basketball Association(WABA).
As projected, it did not take long for the locals to make a statement. However, the end-result achieved was certainly eye-opening.
Leading 8-0 midway through the first quarter, the Surge notched a double-digit lead as Sam Prices jumper with 4:09 left pushed the score to 10-0.
The uncontested streak extended to 15 points following Bianca Becks three-pointer collected with 3:25 remaining and Brittany Carters ten-foot jumper thirty second later widened the score to 17-0.
In the final two minutes, converted free throws from Leah Cotton and Yelena Rosado completed Surge scoring and, combined with a stifling defense, the hostesses possessed a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
The momentum carried over into the second quarter as the locals notched four straight. Rosados early lay-up was followed by Raven Berrys offensive put back at the 8:30 mark, which extended the Surges lead to 25-0.
The nearly twelve-minute shutout was broken on Springfields next possession as Georgia Mueller connected with a three-pointer to make the score 25-3 with 8:15 left in the half.
Leading 33-7 midway through the quarter, the Surge rolled a dozen points straight, eight scored by Price, within a three minute span.
Jaleesa Butler began the rally with 5:20 left via a jumper that pushed the score to 35-7. Price notched a 12-footer on the next possession and later added a pair of free throws that extended the score to 39-7 with 3:30 left.
After Cotton converted a pair of free throws with 3:00 left, back-to-back buckets from Price concluded the 12-0 run and the Surge sported a 45-7 advantage with 2:30 left.
Accented by late-half put backs by Brianna Puni and Berry, the Surge outscored the Grizzlies, 31-12, in the second quarter and led 52-12 at intermission.
Whatever was said in the Springfield locker room at the break certainly worked as the Lady Grizzlies, already weary from a home game earlier in the afternoon against WABA rival Chicago Lady Steam and its subsequent car trip to the Gateway City, regrouped and put forth its strongest effort of the game in the third, resulting in comparable team scoring for the frame. The Surges 18-15 third quarter edge pushed its lead to 70-27 heading into the final stanza.
After the Lady Grizzlies notched the first pair of points in the fourth quarter, St. Louis thumped the visitors with a pair of double-digit rallies. Prices jumper with 7:10 left concluded an 11-0 stretch that pushed the Surges advantage to 81-29.
Then after a Springfield bucket, the Surge scored a bakers dozen uncontested. Highlighted by a pair of long-range three pointers by Price, St. Louis 13-0 run extended its lead to 94-31 with 3:45 remaining.
Prices lay-up with 2:25 left pushed the Surge past the century mark, 101-36.
St. Louis outscored the Lady Grizzlies, 35-12, in the final quarter and coasted to the 105-39 victory and the teams seventh win of the season. Prices 27 points paced the Surges ledger, followed by Cottons 16 and Berrys 15.
Mueller topped Springfield scoring with 23 points.
SURGE INDIVIDUAL SCORING
ST. LOUIS SURGE (105): Sam Price 27, Leah Cotton 16, Raven Berry 15, Bianca Beck 13, Yelena Rosado 9, Brittany Carter 8, Jaleesa Butler 7, Brianna Puni 6, Gabrielle Green 4, Cassie Rochel 1.
ON SUNDAY, the Surge continued sanctioned play within the Womens Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) and topped Mid-West Division rival Illinois Shooting Stars, 83-70, to up its mark to 7-1 in the division and 8-1 overall.
Unlike Saturdays contest against Springfield, the Surge found themselves in a back-and-forth affair Sunday and posted a dominant fourth quarter to secure victory.
Leading 39-32 at intermission, St. Louis was outscored by the Shooting Stars, 20-12, in the third quarter and trailed by a solo point, 52-51, heading into the final frame.
Patient play became paramount in the fourth quarter and the Surge outscored Illinois, 31-19, to pick up the 13-point win.
St. Louis next competes at the four-team WBCBL Mid-West Region Playoffs this coming weekend. (Location of the tournament and its respective seeds were not released by this articles posting.) The winner of the tournament advances to the WBCBL National Championships, held in Greenville, South Carolina on August 1 & 2.
Apart from tournament play, the Surge concludes its 2015 home campaign with a hard-court finale against the Michigan Flint Monarchs on Saturday, July 25 at UMSL. The Monarchs (3-0) are the aforementioned WABA 2014 National Champions and the upcoming exhibition features a rare opportunity to witness a pair of defending national champs competing head-to-head.
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