Saint Louis sophomore forward Dwayne Evans recorded game highs of 18 points and nine rebounds in the Billikens’ 70-46 victory over Arkansas State Thursday at Chaifetz Arena.
The win is the Billikens’ fifth in a row and improves their record to 11-1, which represents their best start since the 1993-94 season. Arkansas State dips to 6-7.
Evans’ 18 points came on 8-of-11 shooting from the field, 1-1 from 3-point range and 1-2 from the line. He was one off his career high of 19 points, set earlier this season against Villanova. Evans had nine boards (four offensive) and recorded two steals.
Senior forward Brian Conklin hit 6-of-9 from the field en route to 12 points. He collected five rebounds. Sophomore guard Mike McCall Jr. had nine points on a perfect 3-for-3 shooting performance from the floor. Junior forward Cody Ellis continued his hot shooting from 3-point range, nailing three treys to account for his nine points.
As a team, the Billikens shot 53.7 percent from the field and 42.9 percent from 3-point range. SLU held the Red Wolves to 34 percent shooting and 27.3 percent from long range.
After allowing the first basket of the game, the Billikens went on a 7-0 run on a Conklin layin and an Evans trey and drive. Later, Ellis and McCall nailed treys to force an Arkansas State timeout with the Billikens leading 15-7 with 12:09 left in the first half.
The Billikens had control of the game at that point, utilizing an 11-0 run that would eventually build the SLU advantage to 21-7.
The Billikens maintained the tempo the rest of the half. Evans’ jam at 8:22 made it 25-10. Junior guard Jordair Jett converted a 3-point play late in the half and scored in the final seconds of the opening session to give the Billikens a 36-20 advantage at the break.
SLU, which shot a sizzling 51.7 percent from the field in the first half, began the second half on an 11-0 run. Sophomore forward Rob Loe’s 3-pointer at the 16:06 mark gave the Billikens a 27-point lead, their largest of the game.
The Billikens maintained a comfortable lead the rest of the way. McCall hit another trey with 6:22 left that make it 61-40. Ellis’ three-ball at the 4:05 mark gave SLU a 21-point advantage at 64-43, and junior guard Kwamain Mitchell and sophomore forward Jake Barnett hit 3-pointers down the stretch to secure the 24-point win.
SLU returns to action Tuesday, Dec. 27, against Texas Southern at Chaifetz Arena in a game that will be televised by Fox Sports Midwest. Tip time is scheduled for 7 p.m.