Courtesy of SLUBillikens.com
RIVIERA MAYA, Mexico – Gibson Jimerson and Marten Linssen scored a game-high 19 points apiece, and Saint Louis held on for a 79-68 win over Stephen F. Austin to capture the 2021 Cancun Challenge Riviera Division title on Wednesday at the Hard Rock Hotel Riviera Maya.
The win was the third in a row for the Billikens, who improve to 6-1 overall. SFA falls to 4-2.
Jimerson averaged a team-best 17.7 ppg in the Bills’ three games in the Cancun Challenge to earn tournament MVP honors. He shot 41.2 percent from the field, 40 percent from 3-point range, and 86.4 percent from the line in the three games. He was joined on the All-Tournament team by Linssen, who averaged 12.7 ppg in the tourney.
Saint Louis won Wednesday’s game at the foul line, as the Billikens connected on 82.9 percent (29-35) from the stripe.
Joining Jimerson and Linssen in double figures was Yuri Collins, who drained 7-of-8 free throws to account for some of his 11 points. DeAndre Jones pumped in 10 points thanks in part to 5-5 shooting from the stripe.
Jordan Nesbitt was also effective, going for nine points and hitting a crucial trey in the second half.
Also, Jones and Nesbitt connected for a highlight reel play at the end of the first half. With less than three seconds left, Jones sent a three-quarter court heave to Nesbitt at the basket. He beat the buzzer to send SLU into the lockerroom with a 46-34 lead. The assist for Jones on the play was the 500th of his career.
Stephen F. Austin pulled to within four of the lead several times in the second half but couldn’t draw any closer. Nesbitt and Terrence Hargrove Jr. both had big 3-pointers late in second half to thwart an attempt at a comeback by the Lumberjacks.
The Billikens return to action Tuesday, Nov. 30, when they travel to Boise, Idaho, to face Boise State. Game time is set for 8 p.m. (CT), and it will be televised on Stadium.