Courtesy: Brian ‘Stamos’ Kunderman/Billikens Media Relations
SETTING THE SCENE Saint Louis (18-5, 7-2 A-10), tied atop the league standings with VCU, goes for seven wins in a row Saturday when the Charlotte 49ers (18-6, 6-4 A-10) come to Chaifetz Arena for a 6 p.m. tip. The 49ers are fresh off a victory against 10th-ranked Butler Wednesday at Hinkle Fieldhouse.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION Saturday’s game will be televised on FOX Sports Midwest, with Pat Parris, Scott Highmark and Joe Wiley (sidelines) on the call.
BILLIKEN NOTABLES • Saint Louis has won six in a row, the longest active streak in the Atlantic 10 Conference. • SLU is receiving votes in the AP Top 25 (34, 34th) and USA Today Coaches Poll (13, 34th). The Billikens are also RV in the ESPN.com Power Rankings (22, t-28th). • The Bills lead the A-10 in scoring defense, yielding 57.7 ppg. In A-10 games, the Billikens are third in scoring, averaging 71.8 ppg in nine A-10 tilts. • Saint Louis features a balanced scoring attack, with six players averaging 7.3 points or more per game. Three Billikens average double figures in scoring. • Junior forward Dwayne Evans leads the team in scoring (11.7 ppg) and rebounding (6.9 rpg). He is averaging 16.2 ppg during SLU’s current six-game winning streak. • Senior forward Cody Ellis averages 11.2 ppg and is second on the team in rebounding. He is third in the A-10 in free-throw percentage (.879). • Junior guard Mike McCall Jr. is third on the squad with 10.0 ppg. He leads the A-10 in 3-point field goal percentage (.442, 34-77). • Junior guard Jordair Jett is fourth on the team in scoring (9.5 ppg) and leads the team in assists and steals. • Sophomore forward Grandy Glaze has started the last six games, which have coincided with the Billikens’ winning streak. In those contests, he has averaged 7.2 ppg and 4.2 ppg (in 18.3 mpg). • In A-10 games, senior guard Kwamain Mitchell averages 9.3 ppg while junior forward Rob Loe averages 9.3 ppg. • SLU shoots 45.4 percent (537-1182) from the floor, 36.2 percent (143-395) from 3-point range and 70.5 percent (352-499) from the line. • Members of the Billiken Hall of Fame Class of 2013 will be recognized at halftime of tonight’s game. The group was formally inducted into the Hall of Fame last night. • Up next, Saint Louis hosts VCU Tuesday, Feb. 19 for the Billiken Blue Out at Chaifetz Arena. Game time is scheduled for 8 p.m. Then, SLU travel for a rematch at Butler on Friday, Feb. 22.
LAST TIME OUT • Dwayne Evans registered his second-straight double-double, and Saint Louis held Richmond to just 23.3 percent shooting from the floor in a 56-46 Billiken win at Richmond last Saturday at the Robins Center. • Evans scored 11 points and pulled down 11 rebounds, both team highs, for his second double-double in as many games. Kwamain Mitchell, Jordair Jett and Cody Ellis all scored nine points for the Billikens. • Richmond managed just 10 field goals on 43 opportunities. The 23.3 percent shooting mark was the lowest yielded by the Billikens this season, bettering the 31.8 percent mark by New Mexico on Dec. 31. • SLU was able to overcome a season-high 20 turnovers in the win.
ON THE OFFENSIVE • The Billikens’ 90 points against Fordham marked the first time SLU scored 90 or more since winning 90-52 against Chicago State on Feb. 22, 2011. • The last time SLU scored 90 or more in a conference game was against Conference USA foe DePaul during the 2001-02 season, a 92-74 win. SLU last scored 90 or more on the road against Murray State on Dec. 18, 1993 (W, 92-89). Finally, the last time SLU scored 90 or more in a conference road game was on March 1, 1990, a 102-86 win at Loyola Chicago in MCC play. • SLU registered 80 or more points in consecutive games (Dayton, at Fordham) for the first time since last year’s ESPN 76 Classic in Anaheim, when they scored 80 and 83 points in wins against Villanova and Oklahoma, respectively. • The Billikens scored 75 or more points in three outings recently (Butler, Dayton, at Fordham) for the first time since the 2008-09 season when they scored 88, 78 and 85 points versues Fordham, Duquesne and Richmond, respectively.
STREAKING • Saint Louis has won six in a row, the longest active streak in the Atlantic 10 Conference. • Four of those wins have come on the road (Duquesne, St. Bonaventure, Fordham, Richmond) and two at home (No. 9 Butler, Dayton). • The Billikens have scored an average of 73.7 ppg during the six games, while opponents have scored 58.3 ppg. • The defense has forced the opponent into 105 turnovers during the six games. Conversely, SLU has committed 68 turnovers during that span. The Billikens have recorded 63 steals to the opposition’s 29.
QUEST FOR 1,000 Senior forward Cody Ellis needs 33 more points to become the 27th member of the 1,000 career points club at SLU.
IN THE RANKINGS • The Billikens are receiving votes in the AP Top 25 and USA Today Coaches polls. • SLU received votes in the polls the first two weeks of the season. • Last season, the Billikens were ranked as high as No. 23 in the AP poll and No. 25 in the USA Today poll, their first appearance in the polls since the 1993-94 campaign.
BALANCED SCORING • In A-10 games, SLU features five players who average 9.3 ppg or more. • No Billiken appears in the top 20 in scoring in the A-10 statistical report. In A-10 games only, SLU does not have a player in the top 10, despite SLU ranking third in the league in scoring offense during A-10 play. SLU’s leading scorer in A-10 play, Dwayne Evans (12.8 ppg), is 15th. GETTING DEFENSIVE • Saint Louis leads the A-10 in scoring defense, giving up just 57.7 ppg. • SLU yielded fewer than 50 points in four consecutive games earlier this year for the first time since the 1949-50 season. SLU allowed 45 points against Eastern Illinois, 44 vs. Loyola Marymount, 41 to SIUE and 46 against New Mexico. During that four-game stretch, teams shot just 35.1 percent (65-185) from the field and 27.3 percent (15-55) from beyond the arc. • The Billikens yielded a season low in points in three straight contests earlier this year (Eastern Illinois, Loyola Marymount, SIUE). • SLU held Richmond to 46 points and just 10 field goals. • Against Dayton, SLU forced the Flyers into 21 turnovers, scoring 30 points off those TOs. That is tied for the most points scored off of turnovers this year, the other coming against New Mexico. • Against Butler, the Billikens forced the Bulldogs into 23 turnovers, the most by Butler since the 2002-03 season. • Against St. Bonaventure, SLU forced a season-high-tying 19 turnovers. SLU also forced Texas A&M and Savannah State into 19 turnovers earlier this year. • Against UMass, the Billikens held the Minutemen to 10 points below their average, and the 62 points allowed were tied for UMass’ lowest scoring output of the season.
EFFICIENT SHOOTERS • Junior guard Mike McCall Jr. leads the A-10 in 3-point field-goal percentage, hitting 44.2 percent (34-77) from long range. • Senior forward Cody Ellis is third in the A-10 in free-throw percentage, converting 80 of his 91 chances (87.9 percent) from the charity stripe.
RAINING 3s • Saint Louis hit 14 3-pointers Jan. 19 against Rhode Island, tying for the second most in school history. Most recently, SLU posted 14 treys against Villanova in 2011-12 and George Washington in 2007-08. The school record for 3-pointers is 15, last accomplished at Temple in 2006-07. • The Billikens hit 64.3 percent (9-14) from 3-point range Dec. 15 against Eastern Illinois. That is the best percentage from 3-point range since the Billikens connected on 66.7 percent (10-15) at Fordham Jan. 31, 2009. • The Billikens are fifth in the league in 3-point field goal percentage, hitting 36.2 percent (143-395) from beyond the arc.
MOVING ON UP • Kwamain Mitchell is 10th on SLU’s all-time scoring list and fourth all-time in steals. He is the only player in school history to rank in the top five in assists and steals, as well as the top 10 in career points. • Cory Remekun continues to climb the blocked shots chart. He is fifth on the all-time list. • Cody Ellis trails Mitchell for sixth on the all-time lists in 3-pointers made and attempted.
FRONT RUNNERS • Prior to the New Mexico game Dec. 31, the Billikens led wire-to-wire the previous three contests (Eastern Illinois, Loyola Marymount and SIUE). The Lobos snapped that streak when they opened the game with a 3-pointer. However, SLU quickly responded with a trey of its own, then took the lead minutes later and led the rest of the way. • SLU also never trailed in wins against Southern Illinois, St. Bonaventure and Fordham. CHAIFETZ ARENA • The Billikens are in their fifth season of play in the 10,600-seat Chaifetz Arena on the SLU campus. The Bills are 68-17 all-time at Chaifetz Arena. • SLU is 13-2 at Chaifetz Arena this season. Over the last two years, the Billikens are 28-3.
HOME COOKING • The Billikens had a nine-game homestand earlier this year, the longest homestand in school history. SLU twice before had eight-game homestands – in the 1968-69 and 1947-48 (when it won the NIT) seasons. Most recently, the Billikens had a six-game home stretch in 2009-10. The Billikens also played eight of their first nine contests at home during 1999-2000. • SLU was 9-0 on the homestand and had an average scoring margin of +16.0.
ABOUT CHARLOTTE • The University of North Carolina at Charlotte 49ers enter Saturday’s game 18-6 overall and 6-4 in Atlantic 10 Conference play. • Charlotte is coming off an upset victory at Butler Wednesday. The 49ers shot 54.2 percent from the field in a 71-67 victory at Hinkle Fieldhouse. • Senior forward Chris Braswell leads all active 49ers with 11.7 ppg and is second with 5.7 rpg. Braswell is one of eight 49ers in school history to record 1,000 or more points and 750 or more rebounds in a career. • Sophomore point guard Pierriá Henry averages 9.3 ppg and has dished out a team-high 87 assists. In addition, he is seventh in the nation with 68 steals. • The 49ers won the Great Alaska Shootout earlier this year. Pierriá Henry was named the Shootout’s Most Outstanding Player after averaging 8.3 ppg and 6.0 rpg and collecting 17 assists and 11 steals in three games. • Junior guard DeMario Mayfield, who is tied for the team lead with 11.7 ppg, has been suspended indefinitely for violation of athletic department policy. • Head coach Alan Major is in his third season at Charlotte. For nine years prior to joining the 49ers, he worked under Thad Matta at Ohio State (six years) and Xavier (three years).
SERIES HISTORY Saint Louis leads the all-time series 14-11. The Billikens have won two in a row, including a 68-67 win last year at Halton Arena. SLU and Charlotte have played every year since 1996 as members of Conference USA and the Atlantic 10. This will be the last year the two teams play as conference members, as Charlotte begins play in Conference USA next season.