Javonte Perkins tallied a game-high 22 points to lead five Saint Louis double-digit scorers, and the Billikens opened the 2020-21 season by charging past SIUE 89-52 Wednesday night at Chaifetz Arena in game one of the Billiken Classic.
The 89 points tie a SLU record for most points in a home opener at Chaifetz Arena, which is now in its 13th season as the home of the Billikens. The 37-point victory margin is Saint Louis’ largest in a Chaifetz Arena season debut. The Bills captured their fourth straight season opener under head coach Travis Ford.
Perkins’ 8-of-11 shooting performance included 4-of-5 from 3-point range. He scored 19 of his 22 points in the first half as the Billikens raced to a 48-18 cushion at intermission.
Jordan Goodwin registered his 24th career double-double with 12 points and a game-best 11 rebounds. Goodwin’s effort on the glass led SLU to a 40-28 rebounding advantage.
Gibson Jimerson, Terrence Hargrove Jr. and Marten Linssen tossed in 11 points apiece. Jimerson and Hargrove Jr. were 3-of-3 and 2-of-3, respectively, from beyond the arc, while Linssen’s 7-of-8 from the foul line led the Bills to a strong 76.7 percent (23-of-30) showing.
Yuri Collins contributed game highs of six assists and three steals for Saint Louis.
Sidney Wilson led SIUE with 14 points and seven rebounds.
Saint Louis established dominance with a 13-0 run that produced an 18-4 lead with 15:20 left in the first half. Perkins and Goodwin scored five points apiece and Jimerson buried a triple during the spurt.
The 30-point halftime lead was SLU’s largest of the opening frame. The Billikens led by as many as 44 points in the second half.
The Billiken Classic continues Thursday as SIUE takes on LSU at 6 p.m. Saint Louis faces LSU Saturday at 2 p.m., followed by a 7:30 p.m. matchup of SIUE and University of Health Sciences and Pharmacy in St. Louis, coached by former Billiken Danny Brown.