Conklin Leads Billikens in Exhibition Victory
ST. LOUIS - Brian Conklin had 13 points and six rebounds to lead Saint Louis to a 66-44 exhibition victory over Cardinal Stritch Wednesday night at Chaifetz Arena.
Conklin was 6-of-9 from the field and added two blocks. Kwamain Mitchell was 3-of-5 from 3-point range and scored 11 points while recording five assists.
Kyle Cassity also was 3-of-5 from beyond the arc and finished with nine points. Mike McCall Jr. led all players with six assists, and Cory Remekun registered a game-high three blocks.
Cardinal Stritch, a member of NAIA Division II and the Chicagoland Collegiate Athletic Conference coached by former Billiken Drew Diener, got 14 points from Navjot Singh and 11 points from Derek Semenas.
The Billikens jumped out to a 10-0 lead on a Cassity 3-pointer, a Remekun layup, Jordair Jett's long 2-pointer and another Cassity trey. After Cardinal Stritch got on the board on Derek Woelffer's layup, Jett drove the baseline and Conklin sank a fast-break layup to make it 14-2 Saint Louis.
A 7-0 Cardinal Stritch spurt narrowed a 16-4 Billiken lead to 16-11, but SLU used a 17-5 flurry to claim its largest cushion of the first half at 33-16. Mitchell buried two 3-pointers during the run, which also saw Conklin and Grandy Glaze collect a pair of buckets apiece.
After McCall Jr. netted a 3-pointer to conclude the run, the Billikens failed to score on their final five first-half possessions. Meanwhile, the Wolves scored the last five points of the period, including Tony Smit's 16-footer at the buzzer, to trim the Saint Louis lead to 33-21 at the break.
Cardinal Stritch twice narrowed the gap to 10 points early in the second half. But SLU assembled a 10-2 run, punctuated by treys from Mitchell and Jake Barnett, that gave the Bills a 45-27 advantage, and the lead did not dip below 16 points the rest of the way.The Billikens host St. Ambrose in their second and final exhibition game Saturday, Nov. 5. Tip time at Chaifetz Arena is 1 p.m.