Following an 0-2 start in conference play Saint Louis entered the win column in a big way. The Billikens posted a 70-59 victory over A10 leader St. Bonaventure at Chaifetz Arena on Saturday. The win improved Saint Louis to 8-3 (1-2) while the Bonnies are now 9-2 (7-2). The numbers of note:
Possessions: 64 (a pace in line with the average tempo of both teams.
Offensive efficiency: Saint Louis 109 St. Bona 92.
Take another look at the offensive efficiency numbers. For the Bonnies their numbers on both ends were extremely poor considering their average to date. The offense and defense were extremely subpar. On the Saint Louis side the same extreme showed up but in a positive way for Travis Ford’s Billikens. Let’s look at their efficiency averages in conference play to illustrate:
Offensive Eff. Defensive Eff.
St. Bona 104 91
Saint Louis 104 104
You can see, as noted, how Mark Schmidt’s club was far below average on offense and defense. Saint Louis was a little better offensively with the big jump coming on the defensive end and ultimately putting them in the win column.
First four. It’s been noted before how coaches preach getting out to a good start, especially away from home. After four minutes the Billikens had a 7-3 lead. Far from instrumental but the tone was set. They were attacking the basket getting a good look from deep and generally playing the role of the aggressor. After 8 minutes the hosts enjoyed a 20-7 edge and the Bonnies were playing catch up.
MVP. Kenpom,com selected Saint Louis senior swingman Javonte Perkins as the game’s outstanding player. Perkins showed excellent versatility- scoring a game high 21 points, grabbing 6 boards while handing out 4 assists against 1 turnover.
Resilient. Just over three minutes into the second half the Bonnies gained the lead at 37-36. The Billikens quickly responded. “We battled, we just dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Schmidt said per gobonnies.com. “For 35 minutes we won by one or two points. Give our guys credit, we fought back to take the lead then we had a couple turnovers. Saint Louis is a really good team and they were desperate for a win…..I thought we played hard.”
Led by Demarius Jacobs (3 of 6) and Perkins (4 of 10), the Billikens shot a lights out 11 of 27 (41%) from beyond the arc. Jacobs was Saint Louis’ other double figure scorer with 11 points.
Bonnies were led by Kyle Lofton’s 17 points with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. Jaren Holmes added 12 points and Jalen Adaway 10. Special mention for a solid defensive performance by Osun Osunniyi. The Bonnie junior shot down Saint Louis’ Hasahn French (0 points). ‘Double O’ (7 points scored) pulled down 8 rebounds while blocking 5 shots, both game high totals.
Who has next? Saint Louis entertains Rhode Island on Wednesday night. Bonnies host LaSalle on Wednesday as well. URI is reeling having lost three straight. LaSalle coming off a home win against Saint Louis lost at Fordham on Saturday. Go figure, or just chalk it up to uncertainty being the norm in these most uncertain of times.