Written By: Brian Ledford

Competing the first half of its regular season solely on the road, the St. Louis Surge women’s professional basketball franchise launches the back half of its 2016 schedule with a home opener this weekend and seeks payback against the squad that topped them earlier this year.


St. Louis (4-1) hosts the Nebraska Strikers(3-1) Saturday at UMSL’s Mark Twain Center(1 University Boulevard, St. Louis, MO) at 7:05 p.m.

The Surge recorded its third consecutive victory in the Women’s Blue Chip Basketball League (WBCBL) via forfeit over cross-state rival Kansas City last Saturday and the win pushed St. Louis to the top of the six-team WBCBL Midwest Division standings.

Heading into Saturday’s battle, the squad is firing on all cylinders. Three players are averaging double-digits on the hard court, paced by veteran Rebecca Harris’ 15 points per game followed by ten apiece from lynchpins Jaleesa Butler and Leah Cotton. Surge 2016 addition Michala Johnson is close to double digits on average while Bianca Beck follows close behind.

Shanity James, Brittany Wilson, Cassie Rochel, Jenny Rocha, Denisha Womack, Raven Berry and Tori Waldner also contribute to the perpetual rotation that has been instrumental in the Surge’s three-game winning streak.

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

One thing that the Surge has in its favor is its home court dominance. Dating back to its 2014 local opener, St. Louis has won a dozen games straight at UMSL’s Mark Twain Center. The franchise has also been a leader in WBCBL fan support with attendances averaging near 1,000 for every game last season.

Nebraska topped the Surge, 93-85, at home May 14 and looks to claim the regular season sweep for a push to the top of the WBCBL Midwest Division’s pecking order. The Strikers won three straight to start its season but succumbed this past Saturday to division rival Flyers Elite, 91-85, to fall to 3-1 and a second place tie in the standings.

The offense is paced by the lethal trio of Reshea Bristol, Shanita Arnold and Slyvia Gatson, who each averages 15 points a game, while Yvonne Turner and Michaela Houser have also contribute double-digit scoring  outputs through four games.

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

Photo Credit: Brian Ledford

Saturday’s affair is projected to be a donnybrook and the Surge aim to reign supreme by buzzer’s end with its fourth straight win.

Tickets are $8 for adults while students are $5. Children five and under are free and youths wearing their local hoops jerseys also receive complimentary admission.



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