French’s career night lifts Saint Louis

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ST. LOUIS – Hasahn French turned in career highs of 24 rebounds and seven blocks to go with a season-high 21 points, and Saint Louis held off Belmont 60-55 Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

In addition to matching the season high by an NCAA Division I player, French’s 24 boards tied the Atlantic 10 Conference record, tied the third-highest total in Saint Louis history and set a Chaifetz Arena record. His seven rejections tied for the second most in Billiken annals and equaled the Chaifetz Arena mark.

In addition, French registered the first 20-point, 20-rebound game by a Billiken since Anthony Bonner’s 45-point, 20-rebound performance vs. Loyola Chicago on March 1, 1990.

Jordan Goodwin tallied 13 points and a season-high 13 rebounds as the Billikens (5-1) grabbed a Chaifetz Arena-record 60 boards and out-rebounded Belmont (4-2) 60-38. The Bills’ season-high 22 offensive boards included nine by French and five by Goodwin.

Javonte Perkins tossed in 10 points, while French and Yuri Collins chalked up a game-high four assists apiece. French’s four helpers tied his career best.

Grayson Murphy led Ohio Valley Conference member Belmont with 17 points and nine rebounds. Saint Louis held the Bruins to seven 3-pointers (7-of-24); Belmont came in averaging 11.8, tied for fifth in the nation.

Goodwin collected an offensive rebound and scored on SLU’s initial second-half possession to give the Billikens a 28-27 edge. It was the first of nine lead changes following intermission.

Neither team led by more than four points until the final score. Two Tate Pierson free throws put Belmont on top 55-51 with 4:38 to play, but Saint Louis finished the game on a 9-0 run.

French tied it at 55 with a bucket at the 2:59 mark before giving the Billikens a 58-55 advantage by converting three of four from the line on SLU’s next two possessions.

After the teams traded empty possessions, offensive rebounds following misses of a free throw and a short jumper gave Belmont a final chance. But a 3-point attempt was off the mark, and Goodwin grabbed the rebound and sank two free throws with less than a second remaining.

Belmont hit a 3-pointer on its second possession of the game and stretched the lead to 14-7 with 11:00 remaining.

Saint Louis answered with a 9-1 run, punctuated by a Collins layup that put the Billikens in front 16-15 at the 7:21 mark. There were six ties and five lead swaps the rest of the half, which ended with Belmont clinging to a 27-26 lead.

The Billikens play their first road game of the season Wednesday, Nov. 27, against Boston College. Tip time is 1 p.m. (CST), and the game will be televised on the ACC Network.

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