Home CollegeSLU Billikens Javon Pickett Matches Career High in Billiken Win

Javon Pickett Matches Career High in Billiken Win

by Mick Lite
Javon Pickett matched a career best with a game-high-tying 23 points, Yuri Collins notched his second double-double of the season, and Saint Louis withstood Southern Illinois’ second-half rally to post an 85-72 victory Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.
Gibson Jimerson tallied 15 points and Fred Thatch Jr. netted a season-high 13 points for the Billikens, who improved to 7-2. Collins turned in a 13-point, 14-assist performance, his fifth double-digit assist game of the season and third in the last four contests.Pickett was 8-of-10 from the field to power Saint Louis to a season-best 57.9 percent. He also pulled down a game-high six rebounds as the Billikens earned a 32-18 advantage on the glass, including a 10-3 edge in offensive rebounds. Francis Okoro and Jake Forrester grabbed five boards apiece.

The Bills shot 82.4 percent (14-of-17) from the foul line, their sixth mark of 82 percent or better in nine outings this season.

Saint Louis led 46-38 at intermission and stretched the margin to 13 points, 53-40, as Jimerson scored the Billikens’ first seven points of the second half.

After SIU (5-3) used a 7-0 spurt to narrow the gap to 53-47, Forrester’s dunk and two Collins free throws restored the lead to double digits, 57-47, with 12:49 remaining.

The Salukis assembled a 9-1 run, capped by one of Xavier Johnson’s six 3-pointers, to make it a 58-56 game at the midway point of the half. The Billikens answered with three-point plays by Collins and Thatch on consecutive possessions for a 64-56 advantage with 8:59 remaining.

A bucket by Pickett at the 6:28 mark gave SLU a 69-58 cushion, and Southern Illinois drew no closer than nine points the rest of the way. The Billikens led by as many as 16 before settling for a 13-point victory margin.

The Salukis held a pair of early three-point leads before the Billikens exploded for a 20-2 scoring outburst to take a 27-12 lead. Jimerson buried two of his three 3-pointers and Thatch also tossed in six points to spark the run.

SIU hung around with deadly 3-point shooting, recording five of its seven first-half treys over the last 9:26 of the half to make it an eight-point game at the break.

Up next for the Billikens is a trip to New Rochelle, N.Y., to take on Iona Tuesday, Dec. 6. SLU is back at Chaifetz Arena to host Boise State Saturday, Dec. 10, at 7 p.m.

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Mick Lite served for 12 years in the military and is now an entrepreneur and photographer. Has worked as the official scorer and social media manager for the River City Rascals, Statistician for the Missouri Monsters and St. Louis Attack arena football teams, and as the Team Photographer and social media consultant for the St. Charles Chill, SLU Hockey, St. Louis Slam, and Gateway Grizzlies.

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