Saint Louis (7-2 overall) rebounded from two recent close losses to top-25 teams — No. 8 Wisconsin and No. 11 Wichita State — to earn the 25-point victory Tuesday night at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens used a distinct size advantage to manhandle Rockhurst (3-3) inside. SLU outrebounded the Hawks 54-28 — 19-6 on the offensive glass. The Bills’ 54 boards set a new Chaifetz Arena record for rebounds in a game. SLU pulled down 50 rebounds against Chicago State in February 2011.
The Bills outscored Rockhurst 40-20 in the paint and recorded 16 second-chance points thanks to their strong rebounding effort.
SLU held the Hawks to 15-of-53 shooting from the field (28.3 percent) and 1-of-15 shooting from 3-point range (6.7 percent). The Bills made 24 of their 58 field-goal tries (41.4 percent).
Evans — who has scored in double figures in 27 consecutive games dating back to last year — was 5 of 8 from the field and 7 of 8 from the free-throw line. Barnett canned three treys and dished out four assists, which tied him with Mike McCall Jr. for game-high honors.
Brandon McCann sunk all eight of his free-throw attempts to lead Rockhurst with 14 points. McCann scored 12 of those points in the first half.
Saint Louis scored the first eight points of the second half to claim a 41-22 lead and regain some breathing room. The Hawks trimmed SLU’s advantage to 45-30, but that’s as close as they would get. The Bills notched eight unanswered points to extend their lead to 53-30, and SLU led by at least 20 points the rest of the contest.
The Billikens closed out the first half on an 8-0 run to take a 33-22 lead into intermission. Rockhurst used a 20-6 run of its own to cut SLU’s edge to 25-22. SLU jumped out to a 12-0 lead and then a 19-2 cushion before the Hawks went on their run.
Up next, SLU travels to Valparaiso, Ind., to take on the Crusaders. Tip time is slated for 7 p.m.
Written by Josh Sellmeyer, Saint Louis sports information assistant.