Saint Louis trimmed a 20-point deficit to three with 18 seconds to play in the second half, but Utah State held on for an 81-76 win over the Billikens Tuesday night at Chaifetz Arena.
Gibson Jimerson scored a game- and season-high 28 points and matched his season high of five assists for SLU, which slipped to 5-3. Utah State of the Mountain West Conference improved to 6-1.
Michael Meadows Jr. and Terrence Hargrove Jr. tallied 11 points apiece in the second half and finished with a season-high 18 and 14 points, respectively. Meadows added four assists.
The Billikens equaled their season high of 10 3-pointers, shooting 41.7 percent (10-of-24) from the arc. SLU’s 92.3 percent (12-of-13) performance from the foul line was its season best.
Utah State led 60-40 with 12:39 remaining when Saint Louis embarked on a 10-0 run to cut its deficit in half.
Hargrove made the front end of a two-shot foul and missed his second attempt, but Jimerson buried a 3-pointer following Kellen Thames’ offensive rebound for a four-point possession.
After Utah State upped the lead to 18 twice in the ensuing moments, Thames hit from close range and Jimerson and Hargrove connected from 3-point distance on consecutive possessions to make it 64-54 Utah State with 9:44 left.
The Aggies seemingly gained command again and were on top 76-60 at the 4:03 mark before the Billikens began to charge back into the game again.
Meadows scored seven points, capped by a trey, in an 11-0 spurt that pulled SLU to within five, 76-71, with 1:44 remaining. Utah State answered with a 3-pointer of its own, but a Meadows layup and Hargrove’s three-point play made it 79-76 with 18 ticks left.
However, the Aggies sank two free throws with 10 seconds to play, and the Billikens could not answer.
Utah State took the lead for good at 8-6 and led by as many as 14 points in the first half before SLU narrowed the gap to 43-35 at intermission.
The Billikens travel to Carbondale, Ill., to face Southern Illinois Saturday, Dec. 2, at 2:30 p.m.