Billikens Run Past Portland
ST. LOUIS - Brian Conklin made all seven shots from the field en route to a game-high 19 points, and No. 23 Saint Louis beat Portland 73-53 Saturday night at Chaifetz Arena.
Cody Ellis had 16 points and Kyle Cassity and Mike McCall Jr. registered 10 apiece for the Billikens (7-1), who had a 25-3 run in the first half and led by 26 early in the second. Those three combined for Saint Louis' seven 3-pointers, with Cassity going 3 for 5 from beyond the arc.
Jordair Jett corralled a game-high seven rebounds, while Conklin pulled down five boards. Kwamain Mitchell had four assists and four points and is now nine points shy of reaching 1,000 career points.
Portland scored the first bucket of the game, but SLU responded with baskets by Conklin and Mitchell to give SLU a lead it would not relinquish. A Conklin bucket in the paint and a McCall trey gave the Billikens a double-digit lead for the first time at 22-9 with seven minutes to go in the first half.
The lead would grow to as much as 25 when McCall hit another 3-pointer with under two minutes to go in the opening session, making it 37-12 Billikens. SLU took a 38-16 advantage into halftime.
The lead remained in double digits for all of the second half. A pair of Ellis free throws made it a 26-point Billiken advantage with 16:20 left. A quick 7-0 run by Portland cut the SLU lead to 19 a few minutes later. The Pilots sliced their deficit to just 15 points at 50-35 with 11:52 to go, but SLU regained control thanks in part to 3-pointers by Ellis and Cassity. SLU hung on for the 20-point victory.
SLU returns to action Wednesday against Vermont at Chaifetz Arena. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m. The game will be broadcast on Fox Sports Midwest.