Guard Jordair Jett scored 25 points, including a game-winning driving layup with just under four seconds remaining as the Saint Louis Billikens defeated the La Salle Explorers in an Atlantic 10 showdown, 65-63. Dwayne Evans also had 14 points for SLU while Jerrell Wright led the Explorers with 21 points and eight boards.
The Saint Louis victory marks the school’s 16th-straight win and the Billikens now sit at 22-2 on the season and 9-0 in A10 play. They can’t afford to let up in any way though as Shaka Smart and VCU are only one game behind in the conference standings. These two teams have yet to meet and will do battle twice in the next month to likely determine the A10 champion.
The Senior-laden Billikens faced a tough task in Philadelphia today, but were able to continue their winning ways in style. La Salle had no answer for Evans in the post early, and certainly none for Jett late. The explosive senior point guard waited patiently as time ran down before Jett-ing down the lane to secure the W. Everyone in the building knew Jordair was going to attack the rim, but still, the incredibly poised and lightening quick 6-foot-1, 215-pounder delivered the knockout punch.
Saint Louis will be a very interesting and dangerous team to watch as March Madness nears. The Billikens are smart, tough and extremely well coached by Jim Crews. Oh, and they have that whole experience thing that all the so called “experts” love to associate with them. In fact, that’s really the only thing they seem to associate with them.
Forget the experience. That’s great and all, but it’s not what makes this Saint Louis team exceptional. The Billikens have five players who average at least nine points per game and that includes two outstanding and versatile weapons in Jett and Evans. Both of these guys can beat their opponents in a multitude of ways and really create matchup nightmares for opposing coaches. SLU is also terrific defensively which serves as a wonderful ingredient for a recipe of success. In four separate games this year, they’ve held their opponent to under 50 points.
For now, it’s 16 straight for the boys in blue and white. And there’s great potential for quite a few more.
Sleeper Final Four team? I’ll take Saint Louis.
Matthew Sturgeon is a College Basketball Columnist for RantSports.com. You can follow him on Twitter @OfficialSturg27.