Just one game remains on the regular season schedule for the St. Louis Surge. On Saturday, August 3rd, the Surge will take the floor in Flint, Michigan for a crucial matchup and playoff preview against the Flint Monarchs. The game will determine which of the teams will finish the season as the GWBA’s second playoff seed and which the third. Either way, it will serve as an invaluable preview of Championship weekend, when the two teams will meet in a semi-final game in Oshkosh, Wisconsin on August 10th. The winner will go on to face the victor of the semi-final between the hosting Wisconsin GLO and last-place Music City Icons, whom the Surge bested on the road in Nashville last weekend by a score of 94-64.
Hitting the road was somewhat of a revelation for the Surge. As expected, the team’s leading scorer, Rebecca Harris, showed up, pouring in a season-high 9 3-pointers to go with 7 rebounds and 4 assists. Kristi Bellock remained steady as ever, collecting 9 points on just 6 shot attempts, including 4-for-4 from 2-point range, elevating her season-long 2-point percentage to a ludicrous 61.1%. But the biggest story of the trip was again first-year guard Nici Gilday.
After mid-season roster changes, Gilday experienced an emergence in the Surge’s final home game, a 102-72 win over the Chicago Breeze, in which she dropped a game-high 23 points on 6-for-12 shooting. Last week, it was more of the same for Gilday, when she cracked 20 points again (for the second time this season), collecting 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting from the field and a scorching 5-for-10 from 3. She added season and game highs of 7 assists and 4 steals. When the team has needed her most, Gilday has ascended to star status.
This weekend, the Surge will need all of Gilday, Harris, and Bellock to maintain their excellence. In Flint, they’ll see a Monarchs team they last met in a 105-89 win that was tighter than the final margin indicates back on June 8th at the Surge’s Home Opener. The Monarchs currently sit in third place in the GWBA at 2-3 following a loss to the regular season champion GLO, who finished the campaign a perfect 6-0.
The crucial matchup with the Monarchs will tip at 4:00 pm on Saturday, August 3rd. The Surge will look to lock up the GWBA’s second seed before heading into Championship weekend in Oshkosh on August 10th and 11th. To follow along with the out-of-town action live, you can stream the game here. Follow the Surge on Twitter and Instagram for live highlights and updates.