Home CollegeSLU Billikens Billikens Fall in Close One at SJU, 87-86

Billikens Fall in Close One at SJU, 87-86

by Brian Kunderman

Despite another 30-point outing by Sincere Parker, Saint Louis came up just short in an 87-86 Atlantic 10 Conference loss at Hagan Arena on Saturday afternoon.

SLU dips to 9-15 overall and 2-9 in A-10 play. Saint Joseph’s improves to 16-8 overall and 6-5 in league play.

Parker scored a career-high 34 points to lead the Billikens. That performance came on the heels of a 33-point effort the game before at La Salle, marking the first time a Billiken had back-to-back 30 point games since Larry Hughes in 1998.

On Saturday against the Hawks, Parker was 12-of-19 from the field, 4-of-7 from 3-point range and 6-of-6 from the stripe. He also finished one rebound shy of a double-double with a career-high-tying nine rebounds.

The Billikens rallied from a double-digit deficit in each half. SLU was down by 14 early on at 26-12 with 14:05 to go but clawed back and led at halftime. Saint Joseph’s led again by 11 points at the 9:50 mark and the resilient Billikens again battled to take the lead back.

Terrence Hargrove Jr. finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. Larry Hughes II pumped in a career-high 15 points for the Bills.

Despite rallying back from double-digit deficits, SLU ultimately was unable to overcome its 22 turnovers.

When they were down 11 in the second half, the Billikens went on a 16-2 run and drew the game even at 73-73 with 5:49 to go. From that point on, the lead changed hands several times but neither team managed to gain more than a one-possession lead.

Hargrove put the Billikens ahead by one with a driving layin with 43 seconds remaining. On the ensuing possession, SLU got a stop and pulled down the defensive rebound but turned the ball over on the outlet pass. SJU converted again to go up by one, only to see Parker answer with 12 seconds left to put SLU on top by one once again.

With the ball and the shot clock off, Saint Joseph’s Xzayvier Brown was fouled and he converted both free throws for the eventual game-winning points. The Billikens had a chance at the other end but SLU was unable to get a shot off and St. Joe’s escaped with the win.

X. Brown ended with 27 points to lead the Hawks. Cameron Brown scored 23 points and made his first five attempts from 3-point range.

The Billikens return to action Friday, Feb. 16, hosting VCU at Chaifetz Arena. Game time on ESPN2 is 6 p.m.

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