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Saint Louis 65, La Salle 63

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Saint Louis Billikens were able to get the most out of their trip to Philadelphia. After topping the Saint Joseph's Hawks by 16 points on Wednesday, the Billikens defeated the La Salle Explorers 65-63 Saturday night.

Billikens guard Jordair Jett scored 19 of his 25 points in the second half, including the winning layup with 3.7 seconds left.

Forward Dwayne Evans scored 12 of his 14 points in the first half.

La Salle center Steve Zack posted a double-double, finishing with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Forward Jerrell Wright scored 21 points and is now eight points away from 1,000. He also recorded eight rebounds.

La Salle guard Tyreek Duren was able to tie the ballgame with one minute left, hitting an open 3-pointer. Jett and Duren traded acrobatic layups to tie it with 30 seconds left, but Jett got the last laugh with the winning layup.

Explorer guard Tyrone Garland's half-court shot ricocheted off the backboard.

The Billikens were efficient early on, using crisp passing and tough screens to find open shots. Saint Louis started the game shooting 9 of 12, claiming a 19-10 lead in the first seven minutes.

After a number of first-half runs by both teams, La Salle ended the half on a 9-2 run. That stretch was capped by Duren's runner in the lane at the buzzer, tying the game at 33 heading into halftime.

After a productive first half, Wright helped the Explorers take their first lead two minutes into the second half. The forward scored the first seven points of the half for La Salle, highlighted by an alley-oop set up by guard Tyrone Garland.

After Saint Louis guard Austin McBroom hit a 3-pointer from the corner midway through the second half, Jett took over. The senior guard scored 11 straight points and 15 overall during an 18-11 run that gave the Billikens a five-point lead.

Saint Louis was able to hold onto the lead late because of an impressive showing from the foul line. The Billikens hit their first seven free-throw attempts and finished 13 of 15 (86.7 percent).

NOTES: Saint Louis extended its conference record to 9-0, its best Atlantic 10 start since it joined the conference in 2005-06. The school's previous best start was 2-0 during the 2009-10 season. ... Billikens guard Jordair Jett and Explorer guard D.J. Peterson grew up outside Minneapolis (Jett from St. Paul, Peterson from Burnsville) and played against each other in high school and AAU. ... La Salle added a patch with No. 15 to their uniforms in honor of the late Tom Gola, who died in late January.

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