Courtesy of SLUBillikens.com
ST. LOUIS – Javon Bess scored a game-high 20 points, and Saint Louis pulled away from Appalachian State late in the second half to post an 83-55 victory in the Billikens’ nonconference finale Sunday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Saint Louis improved to 9-4, while Appalachian State of the Sun Belt Conference fell to 5-8.
Bess tallied 14 of his 20 points in the second half as the Billikens shot 54 percent from the floor over the final 20 minutes. He finished with an 8-of-13 shooting mark and added nine rebounds.
Hasahn French recorded his second double-double of the season, scoring 11 points and matching his season best with a team-high 12 rebounds. French led all players with a season-high-tying four offensive rebounds, part of SLU’s 16 offensive boards that led to 18 second-chance points.
Tramaine Isabell Jr. tossed in 13 points and collected a game- and season-high six assists. Jordan Goodwin (5-of-8 FG) contributed 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Fred Thatch Jr. (3-of-6 FG) just missed double digits with nine points.
Saint Louis established season highs of 83 points, 32 field goals and 49 rebounds. The Billikens committed a season-low five turnovers – outscoring Appalachian State 20-2 in points off turnovers – and held the Mountaineers to a season-low 55 points while out-rebounding the visitors 49-36.
SLU led 34-28 at intermission and 34-31 after Appalachian State buried a 3-pointer on its initial second-half possession.
The Billikens took command with a 13-3 run that featured six points from French and four from Goodwin. Thatch Jr. added a three-point play, and Saint Louis led 47-34 with 13:39 to play.
The margin hovered between nine and 12 points until SLU gained its first 20-point lead with a 13-2 spurt. Bess netted seven of the 13 points, and it was 65-45 Billikens at the 7:04 mark. The Mountaineers drew no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
A French free throw gave the Bills the lead for good, 3-2. Saint Louis went on to build a 14-point cushion before Appalachian State whittled the margin to six at the break.
The Billikens begin Atlantic 10 Conference play at home Sunday, Jan. 6, against Rhode Island. Tip time at Chaifetz Arena is 3 p.m., and the game can be viewed on ESPNU.