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Short-staffed Men See Success

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Freshman forward Hasahn French dunks the basketball. French was named A-10 Rookie of the Week prior to the game at Dayton.

Freshman forward Hasahn French dunks the basketball. French was named A-10 Rookie of the Week prior to the game at Dayton.

Saint Louis University Athletics

Saint Louis University Athletics

Freshman forward Hasahn French dunks the basketball. French was named A-10 Rookie of the Week prior to the game at Dayton.

Bobby Stilwell, Sports Editor

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Despite Ty Graves withdrawing from SLU a few days prior, SLU Men’s Basketball prevailed over La Salle 70-62 at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday, Feb. 10.

SLU scored twice in the first two minutes, with layups from redshirt junior guard Javon Bess and freshman forward Hasahn French. La Salle struck back with an early jumper and trey, holding a slim lead for five minutes. SLU rallied with a 10-0 run late in the first half to take a 19-12 lead at the 7:30 mark. La Salle got another slim lead in the closing two minutes of the first half, but freshman guard Jordan Goodwin swished a pair of free throws and blocked a La Salle jumper. SLU headed to the locker room, tied 26-26.

The second half started off as a back-and-forth battle, but SLU embarked on another 11-0 run late in the half (with eight of those points from Goodwin). SLU led 52-43 lead at the 8:35 mark and held on for the win. Goodwin set a new career high in points, scoring 28, while French tied the season record for blocks by a freshman (51).

Graduate center Rashed Anthony doesn’t always post big numbers on the stat sheets, but Goodwin credits Anthony with helping him keep his cool. “Rashed is the team god. Sometimes when I get frustrated, he’s the first one to talk to me.”

Head Coach Travis Ford agreed with Goodwin. “[W]hen his name is called, [Anthony]’s going to give it the best he’s got… He gets in the game, and he’s a difference maker.”

Over the course of the game, there were 50 personal fouls called between both teams. Ford remarked that the bulk of them were away from the ball, and “that game must have [taken]  four hours.”

Before SLU traveled to Richmond on Saturday, Feb. 17, Goodwin was suspended for the remainder of the 2017-18 season, leaving the team with just seven scholarship players. Despite losing one of the team’s leading scorers and having limited depth on the bench, SLU pulled off a 72-66 win.

Richmond got on the board early, scoring six points in the opening four minutes of the game. A layup from senior guard Davell Roby ignited a 11-0 SLU run, and the Billikens headed to the locker room with a 30-27 lead.

Richmond came out shooting in the second half, scoring 11 unanswered points in the first five minutes. A pair of French layups and a tip-in from redshirt junior D.J. Foreman brought SLU back on top 40-39 with 13:15 left. A 7-0 SLU run midway through the half stopped the La Salle offense from retaking the lead, and the team hit seven critical free throws in the closing minute to clinch the victory.

SLU’s next game was a quick turnaround, and the team stayed on the road, facing A-10 arch rival Dayton on Tuesday, Feb. 20. Despite spending the bulk of the game in the lead or close to it, the Billikens fell to the Flyers 53-50.

SLU fell behind early in the first half, trailing 6-2 at the 18:33 mark. With a dunk from Foreman as the igniter, SLU went on a 10-2 run throughout the later part of the first half. SLU led 23-14 at the 5:41 mark. SLU kept this nine-point margin at the half off a buzzer beater trey from redshirt senior guard Aaron Hines.

SLU held on to the lead throughout the first part of the second half, but Dayton tied the game at the 10:39 mark, and the lead became another back-and-forth battle. SLU was unable to come back from a late 6-0 rally by the Flyers.

SLU heads home on Saturday, Feb. 24, hosting A-10 foe George Washington for a 7 p.m. tip at Chaifetz Arena.

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