NCAA BK

Season-worst shooting sinks Saint Joseph's

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ST. LOUIS (AP)

Saint Joseph's got a season-best 25 points from Ronald Roberts. The rest of the stat sheet was pretty sad.

The Hawks got routed in the second half and ended up on the wrong end of a 70-53 loss at No. 18 Saint Louis on Wednesday night. They shot a season-worst 32.6 percent and were outrebounded 41-29, giving up 15 on the offensive end.

''In the second half, I know it sounds like a simple game, but they made layups and we didn't,'' coach Phil Martelli said. ''The rebounding margin is a cause of concern. You can't have a plan for a putback. Those putbacks killed us.''

Dwayne Evans had 21 points, 12 rebounds and three blocks in one of his most complete games of the season for Saint Louis, which has won 10 in a row and leads the Atlantic 10.

Rob Loe had 11 points and six rebounds and Mike McCall Jr. contributed 10 points, five assists and four rebounds for the balanced Billikens (22-5, 11-2).

Saint Louis cracked the Top 25 this week for the first time this season after beating a pair of ranked opponents on the road. The Billikens have won by double digits eight times during their winning streak.

Coming off an eight-point effort in a victory over George Washington, Roberts was a standout with three dunks.

But Carl Jones, the Hawks' leading scorer with a 14.7-point average, missed his first seven shots, including two airballs, and finally got on the board midway through the second half. He finished with three points.

Langston Galloway added 11 points on 2-of-11 shooting for Saint Joseph's, which was just 3 for 17 from 3-point range and has lost seven straight in the series by an average of 10 points.

''They had a whole bunch of offensive boards,'' Roberts said. ''They rotate well and had a man open it seemed like all the time to get those offensive boards. Give them credit.''

Saint Louis outscored Saint Joseph's 21-5 over the first 9 1/2 minutes of the second half to go up 50-32. The Billikens locked down on defense, holding the Hawks to a 2-for-10 start.

''Their defense was what we thought it would be, but we had no fast-break points,'' Martelli said. ''We've got to get our pace up.

''I thought we were a little bit passive.''

Evans leads Saint Louis with averages of 12 points and 6.8 rebounds, and he averaged 15.6 points during the first nine games of the streak. McCall is averaging 14 points over the last three games.

Saint Louis hit its first three 3-pointers and led by 10 after four straight points by Evans made it 27-17 with 4:03 to go, but the Billikens finished the half 1 for 6.

Saint Joseph's shot just 33 percent in the half but was 11 for 13 at the free throw line and outscored Saint Louis 5-0 in the final minute to narrow the gap to two points. Roberts had 12 points with a pair of dunks in the first half, topping his average by a point four days after he was held to eight points in 16 minutes against George Washington.

The Billikens' depth was tested in the first half with Kwamain Mitchell, Jordair Jett and Cody Ellis each getting called for two fouls.

Tagged: Saint Louis, St. Joseph's, Mike McCall Jr., Rob Loe, Dwayne Evans

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