Javonte Perkins scored a SLU career-high 18 points and Jordan Goodwin posted a third consecutive double-double to lead Saint Louis to a 69-60 victory over Southern Illinois Sunday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
The win lifted Saint Louis to 7-1, the best start of the Travis Ford era and the Billikens’ best eight-game start since the 2011-12 season.
Perkins was 5-of-10 from the field and 7-of-10 from the foul line. Goodwin netted 14 points to go with a career-high 19 rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Hasahn French just missed a double-double, scoring 15 points (7-of-14 FG) and grabbing nine rebounds. French added three assists and two blocks. Gibson Jimerson (3-of-5 from 3-point range) and Demarius Jacobs tossed in nine and eight points, respectively, and Jacobs registered four assists, two steals and two blocks.
Marcus Domask led Southern Illinois (3-5) with 21 points and five assists. Barret Benson scored 16 points, Lance Jones tallied 14 points and five assists, and Eric McGill finished with six rebounds and five steals.
Saint Louis out-rebounded SIU 39-27 and held the Salukis to 1-of-11 from beyond the arc.
The Billikens were down by three at intermission and trailed 34-30 when they began to take command. A 15-4 spurt featuring points from five different players was punctuated by a Jimerson triple that put SLU on top 45-38 with 11:16 remaining.
Southern Illinois narrowed the margin to four but could draw no closer. Goodwin posted half the points in a 10-3 run that gave the Billikens their first double-digit advantage, 55-44, with 6:10 to play.
The margin remained at 10 or higher for most of the remainder of the game. Saint Louis held a 14-point lead twice.
The Bills gradually chipped away at an early 10-0 deficit. Jimerson and Perkins connected from the arc and Goodwin had a tip-in to trim the SIU lead to 10-8.
The Salukis scored the next six points and maintained a lead of between five and seven points until a Perkins layup at the 5:33 mark pulled the Billikens to within three, 22-19. The bucket was part of an 11-0 SLU run that turned a 22-15 deficit into a 26-22 lead.
Southern Illinois tallied the last seven points of the half and led 29-26 at the break.
Up next for the Billikens is Tulane on Sunday, Dec. 8, in Phoenix, Arizona. The game is part of the Jerry Colangelo Classic and tips at 12:30 p.m. CST.