Billikens Top North Texas, 67-63
By Chris Ackels
Billiken Media Relations
Jett's 14 second-half points propelled the Billikens to a late-game surge, capped by his go-ahead jumper with 35 seconds remaining to break a 61-61 tie. Saint Louis (5-3) has now won two straight at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens caught fire early, going on a 17-2 run to take a 24-14 lead at the 11:28 mark. But North Texas, led by projected NBA lottery pick Tony Mitchell, responded with a 15-5 run of their own to carry a 36-34 advantage into halftime.
Jett and Ellis combined for 23 of Saint Louis' 33 points in the second frame, and the pair iced the victory for SLU down the stretch. After Jett's bucket, Ellis went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 12 seconds to secure a four-point Billiken win.
"We really relied on those two tonight," interim head coach Jim Crews said. "We probably didn't play particularly well at times, but we never hung our head on it."
Jett, a physical player who has a tendency to penetrate on offense, added an element of outside shooting to his game against the Mean Green (3-6). Just two of his seven field goals came from layups.
"Coach has given me a little more freedom," Jett said. "He told me to take a lot more shots, so I'm trying to be more aggressive on offense. They were giving me shots all game, so I took them. That last one, I was basically wide open."
Crews said he has worked with Jett to develop that extra dimension.
"This year he has put more time into shooting than he ever has," Crews said. "It was never part of his game, so he never concentrated on it before. But tonight he hit some big shots for us.
Dwayne Evans registered nine points, while Mike McCall tallied eight of his own along with seven assists. As a team the Billikens shot a season-high 80% from the free throw line (20-for-25).
Chris Jones paced North Texas with 21 points and seven rebounds. Mitchell, who scored 14 points in the first half, was kept mostly silent in the second stanza due to foul trouble and the defensive tenacity of SLU center Cory Remekun.
The Billikens head into a ten-day break to accommodate final exam week. Saint Louis University will host a memorial service for former head coach Rick Majerus on Friday, December 7, at 3:30 p.m. at Chaifetz Pavilion. The team will then fly to Milwaukee for Majerus' funeral, which takes place Saturday morning. SLU's next matchup will be Saturday, December 15, at home against Tennessee-Martin.