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The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 16, 8:05 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: SIU Arena (8,339) -- Carbondale, Illinois. Television: None. Home Record: SLU 0-0, SIU 0-0. Away Record: SLU 0-0, SIU 0-0. Neutral Record: SLU 0-0, SIU 0-0. Conference Record: SLU 0-0, SIU 0-0. Series Record: Saint Louis leads, 27-24.
GAME NOTES: Jim Christian's Saint Louis Billikens will continue to climb towards the Top 25 as they visit the Southern Illinois Salukis for a non- conference tilt in Carbondale.
The Billikens are 2-0 on the early season after completing routs of Southeast Missouri State (87-64) and SIU Edwardsville (82-58) in their first two appearances. Saint Louis is receiving votes in the most recent Top 25 polls as it looks to secure two consecutive road victories over non-conference foes for the first time since the 1997-98 campaign. Christian's team, which is the reigning league champion, was picked to finish second in the Atlantic 10 by the league's coaches and senior forward Dwayne Evans was a preseason first- team All-Conference selection.
The Salukis appeared to have picked up right where they left off in 2012-13 as they won six of their final eight regular-season games to end the year on a strong note. SIU held its own in the first half of its season opener versus Missouri as it converted 45.2 percent of its shots from the field while limiting the Tigers' to a distressing 37.9 percent. Missouri still managed to take a one-point lead into halftime before it pulled away for a 72-59 decision to give coach Barry Hinson's squad an 0-1 start to his second year with the school.
The Billikens and Salukis are meeting for the 52nd time in history. SLU holds a 27-24 advantage in the all-time series after the Billikens topped SIU 61-51 at Chaifetz Arena in last season's encounter.
Evans and Mike McCall both tallied 14 points for the Billikens in their rout of SIUE, while Jordair Jett tallied a game-high 16 points. SLU utilized a 16-0 run to take control in the opening half and while it had four players finish in double-figures along with Grandy Glaze's nine-point, 14-rebound effort, its defensive pressure was the key to the triumph. The Billikens limited the Cougars to just 36.4 percent shooting from the floor before the break and a 3- of-14 clip from beyond the arc in the contest. They also held a 37-28 edge in the rebounding battle and registered 17 points off of 14 turnovers.
Desmar Jackson scored 17 points for the Salukis in Columbia on 7-of-14 shooting from the field, but he was the team's only player in double figures. Jackson was named to the All-MVC Preseason Team after averaging 15.1 points and 5.4 rebounds last year. Anthony Beane made a lasting impression as a freshman in 2012-13, putting up 9.1 points per game, but went 3-of-12 from the field to finish with just five points against the Tigers. Bronson Verhines was the second-leading scorer with eight points, while 10 different Salukis clocked 11 minutes or more.
The Billikens are one of the top mid-major teams in the nation once again and while they made winning on the road look like an easy task their last time out, history has shown that is not the case. SIU will be able to perform much better in its own arena and will be competitive. The Billikens will likely come out on top as Evans will be an unstoppable force.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Saint Louis 74, Southern Illinois 66
11/16 10:41:05 ET
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