ST. LOUIS – Jalen Johnson matched his career highs of 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Saint Louis ended the game on a 21-8 run to knock off Saint Joseph’s 61-60 Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens, who snapped a three-game skid, improved to 10-19 overall and 5-11 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. Saint Joseph’s dropped to 10-18, 3-13 with its eighth consecutive loss.
Johnson’s 7-of-11 shooting effort included 3-of-6 from 3-point range. He tied for game-high scoring honors. The double-double was the second of the freshman’s career.
Reggie Agbeko turned in his fifth double-double of the season and eighth of his career, scoring 11 points and pulling down a game-high 11 rebounds.
Davell Roby scored 11 points and tied Mike Crawford for the team lead with five assists. Crawford tossed in 10 points, while Aaron Hines contributed eight points, five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Saint Joseph’s seemed to be in command following a 13-3 run – including 3-pointers on three straight possessions by Charlie Brown – that put the Hawks on top 52-40.
But the Billikens answered with a 12-0 spurt to tie it at 52. Johnson ignited the run with a bucket and added a trey, and Zeke Moore finished it with a basket and two free throws.
Saint Joseph’s tallied six of the next seven points for a 58-53 lead with 2:54 remaining, but the Hawks would not score any more meaningful points.
After the teams traded turnovers, Roby drained a triple to make it 58-56. Following two Saint Joseph’s misses from the foul line, Crawford buried another trey from the top of the key to put the Billikens in front at the 1:15 mark.
SLU forced a turnover, then extended the lead to 61-58 on Hines’ driving layup that just beat the shot clock buzzer. The Bills denied the Hawks again but left the door open by missing two free throws with just seconds remaining. However, James Demery drove for a layup at the buzzer instead of attempting a potential game-tying 3-pointer.
Johnson scored all eight of his first-half points, including two 3-pointers, to help stake the Billikens to a 12-1 lead out of the gate. SLU went on to lead by 12 points on three occasions in the first half.
But Saint Joseph’s closed the half with a 14-0 run, punctuated by a Chris Clover 3-pointer that gave the Hawks a 25-22 edge at intermission. Saint Joseph’s scored on 10 of its final 15 first-half possessions, while Saint Louis suffered 11 consecutive empty possessions to end the half.Clover led Saint Joseph’s with 17 points and was joined in double figures by Brown (16) and Demery (14). Clover and Brown both were 4-of-7 from beyond the arc. Jai Williams collected eight rebounds, while Brendan Casper had a game-high seven assists.