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Saint Louis 65, Saint Joseph's 49

The SportsXchange

PHILADELPHIA -- The Saint Louis Billikens set a school record by winning their 15th straight game, besting the Saint Joseph's Hawks 65-49 on Wednesday night.

Forward Rob Loe was the leading scorer for the 13th-ranked Billikens. The senior scored a team-high 17 points while shooting 3 of 5 from three-point range.

The Hawks were led by forward Ronald Roberts Jr., who scored a game-high 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds in the loss.

The Billikens and their top-10 defense turned the heat up on the Hawks, forcing them to score their lowest point total of the year. The previous low for Saint Joe's was 60 points in a win over Dayton on Jan. 29.

That suffocating defense also forced the Hawks to shoot 15 of 47 (31.9 percent), their lowest shooting percentage of the season. Their prior season-low came against Villanova, where Saint Joe's shot 36.7 percent from the field.

After having success at the free-throw line in the first 20 minutes of the game, the Hawks came out in the second half driving into the lane and drawing fouls. They wouldn't have the same success in the first half, however, as they were only able to convert 9 of their 17 second-half attempts at the charity stripe.

Saint Joe's stepped up their defense midway through the second half, as it scored six straight points while forcing the Billikens to shot 0-for-7 in a three-minute stretch to bring the lead down to seven points. Saint Louis responded with 16-5 run that brought their lead back to double-digits, where it would stay for the rest of the game.

Saint Joe's struck first, scoring the game's first five points. But the Billikens were able to respond with nine straight points of their own after Saint Joe's couldn't find the bottom of the net. During the stretch, the Hawks turned the ball over three times and missed two 3-pointers before forward Halil Kanacevic ended the dry spell.

Despite looking at an early deficit, the Hawks were able to keep pace by converting at the free-throw line. Saint Joe's shot 9 of 12 from the charity stripe in the first half, a mark that helped bring the Billikens' lead down to one.

Saint Louis responded by going on a 16-2 run that brought the Billikens' lead to 15. Guard Austin McBroom was the catalyst during the run, scoring seven points in six minutes, as St. Louis took a 13-point advantage into the halftime.

The Billikens were able to rely on the deep ball early on, as Saint Louis hit three of their first four shots from 3-point range and finish the first half 4-for-7. Loe led the charge, hitting two deep balls in the first six minutes of the game.

NOTES: The Billikens haven't been on the road often, but they have been able to capitalize in hostile territory. Heading into Wednesday night's game, Saint Louis is 7-0 in true road games, tied with Wichita State for the best road record in the nation. ... Saint Joe's has beaten the Billikens seven straight times before Wednesday's game. The last time Saint Louis topped the Hawks was in 2006, when it defeated them 56-37 in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament. ... The last time Saint Joe's defeated back-to-back ranked opponents was March 1966 when it defeated No. 8 Providence twice. Saint Joe's bested then-No. 21 Massachusetts 73-68 Feb. 1.

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