Dion Wiley and Javon Bess scored a game-high 20 points apiece and combined for 11 3-pointers to lead Saint Louis to a 68-57 Atlantic 10 Conference victory over Saint Joseph’s Friday night at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens improved to 14-4 overall and 5-0 in the A-10 with a sixth consecutive victory. SLU is 5-0 in league play for the first time since the 2013-14 campaign. Saint Joseph’s fell to 8-10, 1-5.
Wiley’s 20 points and six 3-pointers (6-of-11) are career highs, and the six treys also are a Saint Louis season best. Bess buried a career-high five triples (5-of-10) as he tallied 20 or more points for a fourth time this season. He added seven rebounds and two steals and was again strong defensively, helping hold SJU leading scorer Charlie Brown to without a field goal until the last minute of play.
The duo’s 11 3-pointers gave the Billikens their season high from beyond the arc.
Hasahn French registered his fifth double-double of the season – fourth in the last six games – and 10th of his career with 10 points and a team-high 11 rebounds. French matched his season high of four offensive boards.
Tramaine Isabell Jr. contributed season highs of eight assists and eight rebounds and added eight points. Jordan Goodwin chipped in seven points, eight rebounds (game-high five offensive) and four assists.
Jared Bynum (18 points, eight assists, six rebounds, three steals) and Taylor Funk (10 points, game-high 12 rebounds) led Saint Joseph’s.
Following several early lead changes, Saint Louis went ahead for good, 13-11, on Wiley’s first 3-pointer with 12:48 left in the first half. The Billikens earned their first double-digit advantage, 28-17, on two Goodwin free throws at the 5:29 mark.
Saint Joseph’s pulled to within five, but Wiley righted the ship with another trey and SLU went on to take a 34-25 lead to the locker room.
The Hawks began the second half with a 10-2 spurt that trimmed the Billikens’ lead to 36-35 with 13:05 to play. However, the Bills caught fire and put together a 23-0 surge that resulted in their largest cushion of the game, 59-35, with 7:00 remaining. Wiley buried three 3-pointers and Bess added two during the run.
Saint Joseph’s answered with a 19-4 run to make it a 63-54 game with 33 seconds left, but Bess sank two free throws moments later to secure the win.
The Billikens travel to Pittsburgh to take on Duquesne Wednesday, Jan. 23. Tip time is 7 p.m. (CST).