No. 13 Saint Louis wins 16th straight
Saturday, February 8, 2014
PHILADELPHIA (AP) — Jordair Jett scored 19 of his game-high 25 points in the second half, including the game-winner with 4 seconds left, as Saint Louis extended its school-record winning streak to 16 games with a 65-63 victory over La Salle on Saturday.
Dwayne Evans added 14 points to help the Billikens (22-2, 9-0 Atlantic 10) remain perfect on the road and in league play. Their 9-0 record away from home is the best undefeated road record in the country.
Jerrell Wright matched his career high with 21 points for La Salle (12-11, 4-5), which has lost five of its last six. Steve Zack finished with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Tyreek Duren added 14 points for the Explorers.
After Duren tied the game at 63 with a driving layup with 33 seconds left, the Billikens held for one shot and isolated Jett at the top of the key. Jett responded with another layup through the La Salle defense, and the Explorers' Tyrone Garland missed the potential game-winner from halfcourt at the buzzer.
Trying to beat their first ranked opponent of the season, the Explorers had the home crowd thinking about the upset when Duren drilled a 3-pointer with 1:15 left to tie the game at 61, capping a 7-0 run.
Jett responded by slicing through the entire La Salle defense and finishing a drive to put the Billikens ahead 63-61.
Last season around this time, the Explorers defeated two straight Top 25 teams in Butler and VCU, which helped them qualify for the program's first NCAA tournament berth since 1992.
But Jett thwarted the Explorers' upset bid this time.
With La Salle leading 43-41 early in the second half, Jett scored 15 of the Billikens' next 18 points to push Saint Louis to a 59-54 lead with 5:38 left.
La Salle took its first lead with 17:19 remaining in the second half on a basket by Wright, who scored the Explorers' first seven points of the half. Less than a minute later, the Explorers pushed their lead to 40-37 after Tyrone Garland fed Wright for a thunderous dunk.
Saint Louis led by as many as nine points in the first half but La Salle closed the half on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 33. Duren capped the spurt with a runner at the buzzer, firing his team up heading into the locker room.
Even before that mini-spurt, the first half was filled with runs. After Saint Louis built a 19-10 lead, La Salle closed the deficit to 21-20 following a three-point play from Wright. The Billikens then reeled off the game's next eight points.
The Billikens went 2-0 on a trip to Philadelphia. They beat Saint Joseph's 65-49 on Wednesday.
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