Freshmen propel Billikens past La Salle, 70-62

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ST. LOUIS – Jordan Goodwin and Hasahn French turned in career scoring highs and Javon Bess posted a third consecutive double-double to lead Saint Louis to a 70-62 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over La Salle Saturday night at Chaifetz Arena.

The Billikens (14-12, 7-6 A-10) won for a fourth time in five games and a sixth time in eight outings. La Salle fell to 10-15 overall and 4-8 in league play.

Goodwin netted a game-high 28 points that included a 13-of-16 performance from the foul line. The 13 makes and 16 attempts are career highs. Goodwin also grabbed nine rebounds.


French registered 17 points and nine rebounds to go with a career-high six blocks. He now has 51 blocks on the season, which is tied for the most in a single season by a freshman in school history (Melvin Robinson, 1989-90).  Bess had 11 points and a game-high-tying 10 rebounds – including a game-high six offensive boards – for his fifth double-double of the season.


D.J. Foreman collected a season-high-tying eight rebounds to help the Billikens to a 46-39 advantage on the glass.


SLU shot 37 percent overall and were just 3-of-11 from 3-point range. But the Billikens were 27-of-39 from the foul line, establishing season highs in an A-10 game for makes and attempts.


B.J. Johnson led La Salle with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Isiah Deas had 15 points and 10 rebounds. Pookie Powell, who had 28 points against the Billikens earlier this year, was held to just five points and zero field goals.


Both teams committed only 11 turnovers. However, Saint Louis enjoyed a 14-6 advantage in points off turnovers.


Saint Louis owned a 37-31 lead early in the second half, but a 12-3 run gave La Salle a 43-40 edge with 12:29 remaining.


The Billikens roared back with a 20-4 outburst over the next seven minutes. Davell Roby’s 3-pointer gave SLU the lead for good, 45-43, and Goodwin scored 10 points during the run which culminated in a 60-47 cushion at the 5:29 mark.


La Salle chipped away and drew to within four, 64-60, with 1:40 left. However, the Explorers failed to capitalize on a SLU turnover to make it a one-possession game, and the Billikens went 6-of-6 from the stripe down the stretch to secure the victory.


Both teams suffered cold shooting in the first half. Saint Louis connected on 33 percent (9-of-27) from the field, while La Salle shot 28 percent (8-of-29).


The Explorers led 8-4 after Johnson hit from beyond the arc on two straight possessions, but the Billikens answered with a 15-4 spurt. Goodwin tallied eight of his 12 first-half points during the run, which ended with SLU on top 19-12 at the 7:52 mark.


La Salle turned the tables with a 14-4 run that gave the Explorers a 26-23 edge with 1:54 left. Three free throws pulled Saint Louis even, 26-26, at intermission.


Up next for the Billikens is a road test vs. Richmond Saturday, Feb. 17. The game tips at 5 p.m. (CT) and will be televised on Fox Sports Midwest.

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