NCAA Basketball Atlantic 10 BasketballSaint Louis Billikens

Taking Down the Saint Louis Billikens Is A Matter of Momentum

Joe Nicholson – US Presswire

The Saint Louis Billikens — fluke or force?

The Billikens aren’t usually the darlings of the Atlantic 10 Conference but recent non-conference wins against the No.20 New Mexico Lobos have SLU in the lime light.

Well, maybe Saint Louis hasn’t reached force-status just yet but I pity the team that falls behind the Billikens by halftime.

Some deem it a useless stat but SLU is 1-3 when down by halftime, which could help explain how Saint Louis has a 14-point win against the Lobos but couldn’t get past the Santa Clara Broncos.

The Billikens don’t have an offense built around a dynamic scorer, which hurts them late in games they trail in. Luckily for SLU, lock-down defense is its hallmark and it can make even the most potent offenses deviate from the norm.

The No.13 Kansas Jayhawks rolled to a 14-point win but the Billikens held an offense averaging 80 points per-game to nearly 10 points below that mark.

One thing that sets SLU apart from most NCAA teams is the fact that the Billikens aren’t particularly dominant in any one area of the game.

In other words, the success of Saint Louis isn’t a proclamation that the Billikens have arrived. The fact that SLU currently stands at 10-3 in its non-conference schedule is a knock on every opponent of the Billikens this season.

Think about it, a win over New Mexico isn’t exactly an upset. Saint Louis also has seven wins of at least 15 points. If the Billikens did that during conference play, that would be one thing. However, the reality is that SLU split against two teams in the West Coast Conference not named the Gonzaga Bulldogs and barely got by the Horizon League‘s North Texas Mean Green, who currently sit at 5-9 in the conference’s basement.

TThe Billikens may have found the secret to beating fringe ranked teams but the rest of a very tough A-10 isn’t about to bow at their feet.

Mike Gillmeister can be reached at or on Twitter: @mgillmei