Billikens Post Ninth Straight Win with 67-59 Victory at Dayton
DAYTON, Ohio – Saint Louis senior forward Dwayne Evans scored 22 points and sophomore guard Austin McBroom added a career high 17 as the Billikens registered a 67-59 win at Dayton Saturday in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
The win improves the Billikens to 15-2 overall and 2-0 in the A-10. It was SLU’s ninth victory in a row. Dayton dips to 12-4 and 0-1 in the league.
SLU now has a 6-0 road record, the best undefeated road mark in the country.
“We played sound throughout the entire game,” SLU head coach Jim Crews said. “When we made mistakes, we bounced back on the next play. It was a big-time atmosphere here, and our guys kept that at bay. Dayton is an excellent team – we knew we had to play very good to win, and we did just that.”
Evans was 9-of-11 (including one 3-pointer) and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line. He finished one rebound shy of a double-double with nine boards.
McBroom continued his hot shooting from beyond the arc with a 3-of-6 performance from long range. He finished hitting 4-of-11 overall and 6-of-6 from the free-throw line to account for his 17 points.
Jordair Jett, who was coming off a career-high 31 points against Rhode Island in SLU’s last outing, finished with 12 points and a team-leading five assists.
Saint Louis shot 46 percent from the floor, including a 52 percent mark in the opening half. SLU posted nine blocks, the most by the Bills since also recording nine blocks against Texas Southern during the 2011-12 campaign.
Dayton, which came into the game leading the A-10 in shooting percentage, hit just 30.6 percent from the field and 28.6 percent from beyond the arc. Devin Oliver, the Flyers’ second-leading scorer, was held to 0-of-12 shooting from the field.
Senior forward Rob Loe hit a trey – the first of four in the opening half for the Billikens – to put SLU on top 3-0 early. But Dayton responded with the next six points and led by three less than three minutes into the contest.
Five straight points by Evans – a 3-pointer and a jumper in the paint – gave SLU a lead it would not relinquish. That sparked a 9-1 Billiken rally as SLU took a 22-15 advantage on a Jett jumper. McBroom would go on to score eight points in the final four minutes of the first half as the Billikens led 34-25 at halftime.
In the second half, senior forward Jake Barnett nailed both treys he attempted as SLU stretched out to a 43-33 lead with 14:33 to play. Another McBroom 3-pointer gave SLU its biggest lead of the contest at 49-36 with 13:10 left.
Dayton slowly chipped away at its deficit and pulled to within five in the final minute, but clutch free-throw shooting kept the Billikens in command. McBroom hit all six of his free-throw tries in the final minute, and Barnett and Jett each went 1-of-2. In the waning seconds, Barnett stole the ball off a Dayton in-bounds play, and the Flyers allowed the Billikens to run out the clock for the eight-point victory.
SLU opens a two-game home stand Wednesday, Jan. 15, when St. Bonaventure visits Chaifetz Arena for a 7 p.m. tip on FOX Sports Midwest. The Billikens host Fordham Saturday, Jan. 18, in a 1:30 p.m. tipoff on NBC Sports Network. Tickets are available for both games by visiting SLUBillikens.com or contacting the Billiken Ticket Office at 314-977-4SLU.