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Men Beat SIU, Snap Long Four-Game Losing Streak

Billiken+teamwork+pays+off+after+a+tough+fight+garners+a+much+needed+win.
Billiken teamwork pays off after a tough fight garners a much needed win.

Billiken teamwork pays off after a tough fight garners a much needed win.

Billiken teamwork pays off after a tough fight garners a much needed win.

Bobby Stilwell, Sports Editor

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SLU Men’s Basketball traveled to Butler for a non conference game on Saturday, Dec. 2, losing 75-45 in Indianapolis. Butler started the game with an 8-0 run, never losing the lead afterward.

Junior guard Javon Bess posted a career high 22 points (19 in the second half), tying his record, with a career-high 10 rebounds. Bess notched his first career double-double. Freshman guard Jordan Goodwin chipped in seven points and five rebounds in the loss.

SLU next hosted the Southern Illinois Salukis at Chaifetz Arena on Wednesday, Dec. 6. The back-and-forth battle in the first half ended with a 74-69 winner for SLU.

SLU got off to a rocky start, trailing by as many as nine with 12:16 to play. SLU tied the game up twice in the closing minutes, before sophomore forward Jalen Johnson hit a pair of FTs to give SLU its first lead of the night (27-26) with 4:04 to play. Goodwin completed a 3-point play to increase the SLU lead to 30-26 with 3:04 to play. SIU jumped back out 33-30 in the closing minute, before graduate center Rashed Anthony hit his first FG of his career to close the SLU deficit to one with 41 seconds left. An SIU trey in the final seconds of the half sent SLU to the locker room trailing 36-32 in a close fight.

Goodwin started off the second half with a jumper for SLU. The two teams traded buckets before Anthony completed a 3-point play to bring SLU within one at 16:27. A Hines jumper capped off the 5-0 rally, giving SLU the lead at 15:53.

Former Billiken Marcus Bartley hit four free throws to extend the SIU lead to 57-52 at 7:57. SLU bounced back within one before SIU jumped back out.

A red shirt junior guard/forward Javon Bess trey tied it up 61-61 with under five to play. SIU rallied back and the game became tied again.

Freshman forward Hasahn French hit a critical slam dunk, to give the Billikens a 65- 63 lead at 2:28. Bess chipped in another trey for a 68-63 lead just seconds later.

SIU charged back, closing within two, but SLU hit six of their final eight from the charity stripe and held off a charging SIU to secure the victory.

Goodwin is excited to see what the future brings, and says the team is working better as a whole. “It’s a big win for the whole team. We’ve learned how to trust each other more.” French went into the game knowing that there was a losing streak hanging over the team, but the team is making some changes to make themselves better. “There’s always frustration if you’re losing. We make sure we all stick together and start to gel even more.” SLU head coach Travis Ford thought the meetup was a “hard fought, competitive game between two teams that wanted to win badly.” He also said that players have been putting in extra effort. “We had guys got back to trusting each other on the court and playing through mistakes.”

Senior guard Davell Roby ended up injured, but Ford admired the determination of the team. “We showed a lot of character to move on [after Roby went out] and control[led] the things [we could] control.” SIU’s head coach, Barry Hinson, was even complementary of the effort by SLU: “You have to give credit to St. Louis. When Roby went out, they had a sense of urgency.” The next matchup for Men’s Basketball will be on Saturday Dec. 9. Tip off is set for 7 p.m. at Chaifetz Arena against non-conference foe Houston.

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Men Beat SIU, Snap Long Four-Game Losing Streak