Saint Louis dropped a 90-56 decision to Rhode Island at Chaifetz Arena Friday night in the Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball opener for both teams.
The Billikens fall to 4-9 overall and 0-1 in league play, while Rhode Island improves to 9-4 and 1-0 in the A-10.
Junior guard Aaron Hines, who made is fourth straight start for an injured Jermaine Bishop, scored a team-high-tying 14 points. Freshman forward Elliott Welmer also scored 14 points, thanks in part to a 4-of-5 performance from 3-point range.
Freshman guard Zeke Moore chipped in seven points and grabbed a career-high five rebound. Senior forward Reggie Agbeko and senior guard Mike Crawford scored six points apiece.
SLU shot 32.7 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from 3-point range and was hampered by a 58.6 percent mark from the stripe. Meanwhile, Rhode Island shot 55.6 percent from the field, including a sizzling 50 percent (10-of-20) from 3-point range.
The Rams, who were led by Kuran Iverson’s 19 points, won the rebounding battle 46-31. Rhody scored 40 points off SLU turnovers and offensive rebounds.
Welmer hit an early 3-pointer to give the Billikens a 3-0 lead, but Rhode Island responded with a 9-0 run. A Crawford layup at the 14:05 mark of the first half pulled the Billikens to within four of the lead, but that is close as they would get as the Rams opened up a 20-point lead in the first half. A Hines 3-pointer at the first-half buzzer made it 45-28 Rams at halftime.
It was much of the same in the second half, as the Rams shot 63.3 percent in the period and rolled to a 34-point victory.
Saint Louis travels to Philadelphia to take on La Salle Wednesday, Jan. 4. Game time at Tom Gola Arena is scheduled for 6 p.m. (CT).