Wichita State, Wisconsin and Duquesne don't have much in common when it comes to their accomplishments on the basketball court this season, but they are the only three teams to beat No. 10 Saint Louis.
The Shockers and Badgers got the best of Billikens before conference championship games had been played in the college football season. Saint Louis won 19 consecutive games prior to Duquesne pulling off a surprise 71-64 victory Thursday night at Chaifetz Arena.
This might be a good thing for Saint Louis. While it missed a chance to earn at least a share of the A-10 Conference title, it is still likely to claim that title in the final week of the season and it won't go into the postseason carrying the burden of a long winning streak. Sometimes a loss has a way of refocusing a team and this might have come at just the right time for the Billikens, though no one associated with the program would ever say so.
This one was decided behind the 3-point line. SLU is normally stellar at defending the 3-pointer but allowed Duquesne (12-15, 4-10) to make eight of 15 from behind the arc.
Duquesne sophomore Micah Mason came into the game leading the nation in 3-point shooting (.554) and made four of his five attempts. Meanwhile, the Billikens made only four of 23 3-pointers. Saint Louis also did a poor job of taking care of the ball, committing 16 turnovers.
The Billikens are generally much better in all those areas and they have been the model of consistency. So there is no reason to think the loss was anything other than a bad night for a very good team against an opponent reaching for the high-point win of its season.
It will be interesting to see how the Billikens respond on Saturday when they travel to VCU, a team that gave them all they could handle two weeks ago in a Saint Louis two-point victory.
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