Men’s basketball:Billikens win back- to-back games, then fall to Dayton

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Men’s basketball:Billikens win back- to-back games, then fall to Dayton

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Coming off their big upset against Davidson, the Billikens traveled to Massachusetts to play UMass on Jan. 23. UMass had a 16-10 lead at 11:29 in the first. They were able to extend their lead to eight points before the Billikens went on a 9-0 drive to gain the lead with just over nine minutes left in the half. Sophomore forward Brett Jolly contributed five points to the spurt, completing a three point play from the free throw line. SLU took a five point advantage, but a late 8-0 rally by UMass gave them the 40-37 lead.

The Billikens retaliated early in the second half, putting together a quick 6-0 run to regain a 43-40 lead. UMass responded with their own 6-0 run, which would eventually lead to a 48 point tie with 14:32 left in the game. Sophomore guard Marcus Bartley got the Billiken offense going again by draining a three, which began a 17-0 spurt for the Billikens. Freshman guard Jermaine Bishop ended the run with a pair of jumpers, giving SLU the 65-48 lead with 10:33 left in the game. The Minutemen refused to be defeated and continued to chip away at SLU’s advantage, until they were only down by four, with one minute left to play. UMass resorted to fouling in the hopes of regaining the lead, but the Billikens were a perfect 8 for 8 from behind the free throw line. UMass could not recover and fell to the Billikens, 86-75.

Bartley led the offense with a career-high 17 points, while Jolly tied his career-high with ten points. Junior guard Aaron Hines contributed eight points and five assists. Junior forward Reggie Agbeko dominated the boards with ten rebounds. As a team, the Billikens shot 50.8 percent from the field.

The Billikens then traveled to Dayton to play the Flyers on Jan. 27.  Dayton jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead with 15 minutes left in the first half. The Billikens quickly countered and tied the game at six with just over 12 minutes left in the game, while the Dayton offense slipped into a drought and shot 1-for-6 for 3:16. Struggling offenses on both sides kept the game close. Dayton was able to take a six point advantage with 5:29 left in the first half.

Dayton put together a 10-0 run over four minutes to play to pull ahead 21-12 with four minutes left in the half. Dayton extended their lead to 26-17, which was how the half ended.

Dayton continued to extend their lead in the second half. The Flyers put together a 6-0 streak that forced the Billikens to call a timeout with 16:30 left in the game. Dayton continued to dominate, but Roby hit a jumper that put an end to an 8-0 spurt by the Flyers, with 11:06 remaining in the game and the Billikens trailing 51-23.

Unfortunatly, the Billiken offense could not find any momentum nor could their defense find an answer to Dayton’s game plan.

Dayton scored 47 points in the second half and SLU was held to only 20. No player led the Billiken offense as Agbeko, Reynolds, and Roby all scored six points. Yacoubou grabbed six boards and contributed three points.

As a team, the Billikens shot 27 percent from the field, compared to Datyton who shot 47 percent. SLU also struggled from behind the free throw line as well, shooting only 36 percent. The Billikens scored 37 points, a season low. SLU held the lead for 56 seconds, but ultimatly the Billikens fell to 3-5 in the conference and 8-12 overall.

Bishop racked up another accolade as he was named the Atlantic 10 Conference men’s basketball Rookie of the Week for the second week in a row. He avergaed 18.5 points per game last week as the Billikens went 2-0. He had a career-high 23 points in the huge win against Davidson. He also had a career-high six rebounds and six assists. Bishop shot an astounding 61.9 percent from the field.

The Billikens will host Duquesne on Jan. 30 for the annual Suits and Sneakers event, which raises awareness for the American Cancer Society. Duquesne currently has a record of 4-4 in the A-10 and 14-7 overall. They are coming off an 87-60 victory over La Salle.