First-half run carries Saint Louis past La Salle

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ST. LOUIS – Saint Louis outscored La Salle 31-7 over the last 12:16 of the first half and went on to post an 84-69 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over the Explorers Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

The Billikens, who snapped a two-game skid, improved to 18-7 overall and 7-5 in the A-10. La Salle fell to 11-13, 2-10.

Javonte Perkins scored a game-high 24 points, his sixth game of the season with 20 or more points. Perkins was 7-of-11 from the field, including a pair of 3-pointers, and 8-of-9 from the foul line.

Jordan Goodwin posted his 11th double-double of the year, netting 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds (six offensive). Goodwin added four assists to tie for the game high with Hasahn French, who also tallied nine points, 10 rebounds and a game-high and career-high-tying three steals.

Tay Weaver scored 11 points and Demarius Jacobs grabbed a career-high eight rebounds for the Billikens, who earned a 40-25 advantage on the glass.

Saint Louis shot 52.8 percent (28-of-53) from the field – its best mark in a conference game this season – and outscored La Salle 38-20 in the paint.

Scott Spencer and Ayinde Hikim scored 17 points apiece for La Salle.

La Salle led 17-14 when Isiah Deas made two free throws at the 12:16 mark. Goodwin, who scored 11 points during the 31-7 run, answered with buckets on SLU’s next two possessions, giving the Billikens the lead for good and sparking the torrid scoring spurt that ended with SLU in front 45-24 at intermission. The 21-point halftime lead is the Billikens’ largest of the season in an A-10 game.

The Bills connected on all four of their 3-pointers during the run, including two by Perkins.

The lead remained in double figures throughout the second half. La Salle drew as close as 11 points on three occasions, the last a 70-59 Saint Louis edge with 4:43 remaining, but an 8-0 run sealed it for the Billikens.

The Billikens play at Massachusetts Tuesday, Feb. 18, at 6 p.m. (CST). The game will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest Plus.

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