Saint Louis Had The Offensive Answers Against La Salle

The Billikens Get Their First Atlantic 10 Road Win at the Gola Arena

PHILADELPHIA, PA. 2/7/2024 –

Each team came into the game on a losing streak, and each really wanted a win. The Saint Louis Billikens ended their six game skid, and extended the La Salle Explorers slide with a 102 – 84 victory. It is the most points given up by La Salle in a game this season. The reason was that Saint Louis shot the ball well, and La Salle did not do enough on defense.

“They’re shooting percentage of 56 or 57 percent is pretty high so our defense needs to improve,” said La Salle Coach Fran Dunphy. “We didn’t do a good enough job. They played well and deserved to win the game, we did not.

La Salle guard Khalil Brantley added 18 points and took down 10 rebounds for his second double-double of the season. But the triple-digit output is the most La Salle has given up in a game this season.

The Start Was in the Billikens Favor

Saint Louis scored the first 7 points of the game, and got out to a double-digit lead midway through the first half. The Explorers shot a decent percentage in the first half (41.9%), but the Billikens shot the ball extremely well making 20 of 31 (64.5%) from the floor and drained half of their 8 from three-point land. the highest percentage made against La Salle. The visitors scored 51 first half points, the second most given up by the hosts in a half. Saint Louis equaled that in the second half. The most points surrendered in a twenty minute segment is 56 by Duke.

At the beginning Saint Louis got the ball inside and scored. Once that was established the offense fanned out which caused the La Salle defense to scramble.

“Everybody wants to be balanced, but their shooting from the perimeter was great, and it wasn’t always three’s with a lot of mid-range jumpers they were making as well,” Dunphy said. “I thought their bigs did a really good job early on, and we didn’t defend well enough either.”

For the game the Billikens made 56.3% (34 of 64) of their field goal attempts, the best percentage made against the Explorers.

La Salle Tried to Come Back

La Salle did chip away and got to within 12 points at the 11:26 mark cutting the lead to 73 – 61. If LSU could get some stops, the game could have been competitive. But Billikens guard Sincere Parker sank back-to-back three-pointers to create the separation needed.

What the Numbers Say

The Explorers made 26 of 66 (39.4%) and 10 of 28 three-pointers. Three players scored in double digits led by Anwar Gill who set a season-high scoring 21 points. Rokas Jocius set a career-mark with 19 points making 7 of 9 field goals and added 2 three point baskets and 3 free throws.

For Saint Louis Parker set a career-high scoring 33 points making 10 of 14 from the floor and 3 of 8 from beyond the arc. Forward Bradley Ezewiro added 16 points. Larry Hughes II, the son of former Sixers player, scored 13 points. Kellen Thames scored a collegiate-best 12 points.

Next Up

Saint Louis (9 – 14, 2 – 8 Atlantic 10) gets their second conference win of the season. They will stay in Philadelphia as they go to Hawk Hill to play Saint Joseph’s on Saturday.

La Salle (11 – 12, 2 – 8 Atlantic 10) face a challenge going to Richmond who has one league loss as they challenge for the league’s top spot.

“Gotta go back to the drawing board,” Dunphy said. “Really difficult challenge at Richmond, so see what we can do.”


Written By: Glenn Papazian


Khalil Brantley on Defense

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