A quick defensive change at halftime kept St. Louis undefeated and allowed the Saints to hand Sulphur its first loss Tuesday evening, 50-38.
"I think we were focused at the beginning and was able to do some things in the first half to keep us close," St. Louis head coach Tony Johnson said. "In the second half, we were able to switch to a different defense.
"We have a bunch of them. We switched to one of our bread-and-butter defenses and we were able to stop No. 34."
Sulphur (7-1) senior guard Addy Tremie scored 13 points in the first half, and Sulphur led by as many as five. But St. Louis senior Anaiya Turner shut Tremie down in the second half as the Saints employed a box-and-one. St. Louis (6-0) held Sulphur to a season-low 38 points.
"That is all credit to Aniya Turner," Johnson said. "She is one of the better defensive players in this area.
"She really played well for us on the defensive end. She didn't have a great offensive night, but that is what it takes to be a very good team. I told them some nights our best players are not going to have a good night on offense, but you are going to have a good night on defense."
With the defense controlling one end of the court, St. Louis shot 78 percent in the third quarter and opened the second half on a 12-2 run to break open a 22-22 game. The Saints' top three scorers — Mycaa Trail, Paris Guillory and Torey Washington — scored 15 of St. Louis' 18 third-quarter points.
Guillory hit her third 3-pointer to put St. Louis up by three with 38 seconds into the second half, and the Saints never trailed again. Guillory finished with 15 points, Trail had a game-high 17 and Washington finished with 14.
With Tremie locked down, Sulphur tried to switch to its inside game which accounted for 40 points in its last game. But the trio of Moe Patterson, Raegan Ojoro and Abi Massey combined to score 13points. Patterson led the way with 11 points and seven rebounds.
"(They) came out in a box-and-one on Addy in the second half," Sulphur head coach Helen Lefevre said. "We have practiced that because we have been expecting to see that, but we didn't execute it.
"When they take Addy out of the game, we should be able to go one-on-one inside. We had some shots, but our posts just couldn't finish tonight. Their defense gave us pressure and we couldn't finish inside. They took us out of our game."
Sulphur opened the game with a 7-2 lead, but St. Louis went on a 9-0 run to get back into the game on a trio of 3s by Guillory and Washington.