Saint Louis took command with a 19-0 first-half run and maintained a double-digit lead the rest of the way in an 89-67 season-opening victory over Florida Gulf Coast Tuesday night at Chaifetz Arena.
The Billikens (1-0) were led by its two senior captains – Hasahn French (20 points) and Jordan Goodwin (18 point). French recorded three blocks and six rebounds, while Goodwin turned in a game-high nine rebounds and three steals.
Freshman Yuri Collins dished out nine assists in his collegiate debut. Also turning in a strong performance in his first collegiate game was freshman Gibson Jimerson. He turned in 10 points thanks in part to 3-of-5 shooting from beyond the arc.
As a team, the Billikens shot 34-of-71 from the field (47.9 percent) and 11-of-27 (40.7 percent) from 3-point range.
Goodwin and Jimerson scored seven and six points, respectively, during the Billikens’ 19-0 spurt, which put the Billikens on top 23-6 at the 8:27 mark. Jimerson’s points came on two 3-pointers.
After Florida Gulf Coast, a member of the Atlantic Sun Conference, narrowed the lead to 23-11, SLU finished the half with a 17-7 flurry and took a 40-18 lead to the locker room. Tay Weaver buried a pair of treys during the run.
FGCU drew no closer than 18 points in the second half, while Saint Louis led by as many as 28. The Billikens shot 58 percent (19-of-33) overall and 50 percent (5-of-10) from 3-point distance over the final 20 minutes.
FGCU’s Zach Scott scored a game-high 23 points, and Caleb Catto added 16.
Saint Louis committed only nine turnovers and out-rebounded FGCU 41-28, including 21 offensive boards.
The Billikens return to action Saturday, Nov. 9, hosting Valparaiso at 6 p.m. The game will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest.