Saint Louis beats La Salle, inches closer to A-10 crown
St. Louis, MO (Sports Network) - Rob Loe scored 20 points on a perfect 7-of-7 from the field, including 3-of-3 from beyond the arc, to lead No. 16 Saint Louis to a 78-54 win over La Salle.
Kwamain Mitchell had 19 points and Dwayne Evans registered 16 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Billikens (24-6, 13-3 A-10), who have clinched at least a share of the Atlantic 10 regular-season title. They have clinched the No. 1 seed for the A-10 tourney next week and can win the regular season title outright if Virginia Commonwealth loses at Temple on Sunday.
"It's never perfect, but that was fun to watch," Saint Louis interim coach Jim Crews said. "Really, they kept getting better and better, and that's unusual."
Tyrone Garland had a team-high 15 points. Tyreek Duren and Sam Mills scored 13 and 12 points, respectively, for the Explorers (21-8, 11-5), who came into the game on a three-game winning streak.
The Billikens entered the second half with a 31-29 edge, but extended their lead to 52-41 with 11:50 left in regulation.
Duren responded with a three-point play to bring La Salle within eight, 54-46, with 10:53 remaining, but the Explorers would experience trouble for the remainder of the contest.
The Billikens connected on 17-of-20 shots in the second half, including 4-of-4 from three-point range. They sealed the victory with a 16-1 run over the final 6:27.
"That was about as bad a beating as you could take in the second half," La Salle coach John Giannini admitted. "I'm really disappointed with the way we played."
The two teams battled in the first half, as they tied nine times and had six lead changes. Both teams struggled from three-point range, as they combined to connect on only 3-of-18 tries. However, they both shot 13-of-32 from the field.
Down 23-20 with 6:40 left, La Salle went on a 7-0 spurt, capped with a 3- pointer by Mills, to take a 27-23 lead with 3:34 remaining.
Evans, however, scored the Billikens' final six points to give his team the lead at halftime.
Mills scored 10 points in the first half ... Ramon Galloway, who scored 29 points for La Salle in Wednesday's win over George Washington, had eight points on 3-of-12 shooting ... La Salle missed all six of its 3-point attempts in the second half.
03/10 00:21:03 ET