ST. LOUIS - Dwayne Evans scored 14 points and collected six rebounds to lead Saint Louis to a 61-51 victory over Southern Illinois Saturday night at Chaifetz Arena.
Rob Loe scored 12 points, including a 3-of-3 effort from 3-point range, and added four rebounds. Mike McCall Jr. tallied nine points, tied his career best with a game-high eight assists and made a game-high three steals.
Cody Ellis contributed nine points on 3-of-6 shooting from beyond the arc, part of the Billikens' 8-of-18 (.444) performance from 3-point distance. SLU shot 51.2 percent overall, the third time in five games this season the Bills (3-2) have topped the 50-percent mark. Southern Illinois was held to 36.5 percent overall and was just 2-of-9 from 3-point range.
Cory Remekun chipped in eight points and six rebounds for the Billikens.
Jeff Early scored a game-high 15 points and added six rebounds for Southern Illinois (3-1), who used 18 offensive rebounds to gain a 36-28 overall edge on the boards. Dantiel Daniels had 12 points, Desmar Jackson posted 10 points and a game-high eight rebounds, and Kendal Brown-Surles registered five assists.
The Billikens led by 11 at intermission, but an 11-5 run including six points from Daniels pulled the Salukis to within five, 33-28.
Loe connected from beyond the arc on consecutive possessions to stretch the SLU lead to 39-30. After Daniels hit a short jumper, Loe made a free throw and Jordair Jett drilled a jumper from the left wing for a 42-32 Billiken advantage.
Consecutive buckets by Jackson sandwiched Evans' spinning layup, and the Billikens led 44-36. But that was as close as the Salukis would get as Saint Louis constructed a 13-4 run that put the game out of reach.
Evans ignited the outburst with an offensive rebound and layup. McCall Jr. netted both ends of a 1-and-1, and Evans' fast-break layup made it 50-36.
Evans sank the back end of a two-shot foul, then converted both ends of a 1-and-1 for a 53-38 SLU advantage. Jett's short jumper and two Loe free throws concluded the run, and it was 57-40 Saint Louis with 3:53 remaining.
Saint Louis scored on seven of its first nine first-half touches to take a 15-4 lead. Five different Billikens scored during the run, which was highlighted by a pair of Ellis 3-pointers on consecutive possessions.
But the tables turned for SLU as the Bills suffered seven straight empty possessions. However, Southern Illinois scored just twice during that stretch to make it a 15-8 game.
McCall Jr.'s steal and acrobatic fast-break layup halted the Saint Louis scoreless streak, and Remekun's layup with a sharp assist from McCall Jr. put the Billikens on top 19-8.
SIU scored on its next three possessions, including a jumper and a 3-pointer from Early, to cut the SLU lead to 19-15. But the Billikens finished with a 9-2 flurry consisting of treys by McCall, Ellis and Jake Barnett for a 28-17 halftime cushion.Saint Louis travels to Seattle to take on Washington Wednesday, Nov. 28. Tip time is 11 p.m. (CT).