Saint Louis 66, George Washington 58By Bobby Bancroft, The Sports Xchange | The SportsXchange – Sat, Mar 2, 2013 6:31 PM EST
The No. 18 Saint Louis Billikens remained one of the hottest teams in the country on Saturday afternoon by holding off the George Washington Colonials 66-58 at the Charles E. Smith Center for their eleventh straight win. Dwayne Evans led Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2) with 22 points and 12 rebounds while Kwamain Mitchell had 18 points as the Billikens closed in on their first-ever Atlantic 10 regular-season championship. Saint Louis, which entered the national rankings for the first time since November 2011, has its longest winning streak since the 1993-94 season when it started 14-0. George Washington (12-15, 6-8), which has now lost three straight and is in danger of missing the Atlantic 10 tournament, was led by Kevin Larsen with 14 points and Lasan Kromah's 12 points off the bench. After falling behind by its biggest deficit at 48-45, Saint Louis reeled off eight consecutive points en route to closing out the game on a 21-10 run to end any thoughts of a GW upset bid. Both teams shot 41 percent from the field but the Billikens punished the Colonials at the free throw line. Saint Louis shot 87.5 percent (21 of 24) while GW was just 53 percent (8 of 15). Saint Louis led 39-32 with 16:19 remaining after a 3-pointer by Mitchell. GW continued to fight back in its second-to-last home game of the season with a 10-2 run to take its first lead of the game at 42-41. Patricio Garino came up with two steals and transition dunks during the Colonials' comeback. Saint Louis held GW without a field goal over the final three minutes of the first half in taking a 32-26 advantage into the locker room. The Billikens shot 40.7 percent (11 of 27) while the Colonials managed to hit just 36.7 percent (11 of 30). Saint Louis opened up a 19-11 lead after five straight points from Jordair Jett. Jett scored nine of his 11 points in the first half. GW responded with an 11-4 run to get to within 23-22 on a putback by Larsen. Larsen helped the Colonials stay in the game in the first half with 10 points (the only player in double figures) and three rebounds. Cody Ellis (seven points) hit two first-half 3-pointers, coming out of a current slump in which the senior from Australia had made just three of his previous 14 attempts from behind the arc. NOTES: With a 3-pointer in the first half, Ellis went over 1,000 points for his career. ... Saint Louis is the second ranked team to come into the Smith Center this season (Butler). ... GW is 5-10 in games decided by single digits. ... Larsen hit for double figures for the seventh time in the Colonials' last 10 games. ... Saint Louis improved to 6-2 on the road while GW fell to 6-7 at home.
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