No. 8 Billikens Host Duquesne Thursday Night
February 27, 2014INDIANA SPORTS PAGE
ST. LOUIS BASKETBALL RELEASE
SETTING THE SCENE
No. 8 Saint Louis (25-2, 12-0 Atlantic 10), a winner of 19 in a row, hosts Duquesne Thursday night at Chaifetz Arena. Game time is scheduled for 7 p.m. With a win Thursday against Duquesne, the Billikens would clinch the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in Brooklyn and at least a share of the A-10 regular-season title.
FOLLOWING THE ACTION
Thursday’s game will be televised on NBCSN, with native St. Louisan Steve Schlanger and former NBA head coach Stan Van Gundy on the call. It will be streamed online athttp://stream.nbcsports.com/liveextra/. The game also airs on 101 ESPN in St. Louis. As always, Billiken Hall of Famer Bob Ramsey will provide the play-by-play, while St. Louis American sports editor Earl Austin Jr. handles the analysis.
• Saint Louis, one of six programs nationally with two or fewer losses, is No. 8 in the USA Today coaches’ poll and No. 10 in the AP Top 25. It is the first time since the 1964-65 season the Billikens have cracked the top 10. SLU has been ranked for seven straight weeks.
• The Billikens are 25-2 for the first time in school history. SLU’s 12-0 start in A-10 play is the Billikens’ best-ever start in a conference season.
• SLU has won 19 games in a row, a school record. It is the fourth-longest active winning streak in the country.
• With a win Thursday against Duquesne, the Billikens would clinch the No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 Conference Championship in Brooklyn and at least a share of the A-10 regular-season title. If SLU wins vs. Duquesne, the only team that could match the Billikens in the standings is Saint Joseph’s, and the Bills hold the tie-breaker with the Hawks.
• The Billikens have posted an 87-18 record in six years at Chaifetz Arena. They are 46-4 on their home floor the last three years. A Chaifetz Arena record 10,639 fans were on hand to witness the Billikens defeat VCU on Feb. 15.
• Five Billikens average 8.3 ppg or more. Senior forward Dwayne Evans (14.3 ppg), senior guard Jordair Jett (13.8 ppg) and senior forward Rob Loe (10.2 ppg) score in double figures. Senior guard Mike McCall Jr. contributes 9.2 ppg, and sophomore guard Austin McBroom averages 8.3 ppg.
• Senior guard Jordair Jett, the reigning A-10 Player of the Week, is third in the A-10 in scoring in league play, averaging 17.9 ppg. Jett is third in the league with 5.0 assists per game. Jett has earned A-10 POW a school-record four times this season.
• The Billikens lead the A-10 and are 12th nationally in scoring defense, yielding 59.9 ppg. Saint Louis leads the nation in 3-point field-goal percentage defense (.266). Through games of Tuesday, Feb. 25, SLU is third in KenPom.com’s adjusted defensive efficiency.
• SLU, which has yet to lose on the road (10-0), travels to VCU Saturday for a 5 p.m. (CT) tipoff at the Siegel Center. The game will be televised on ESPN2.
• Duquesne University enters Thursday’s matchup 11-15 overall and 3-10 in Atlantic 10 Conference play.
• The Dukes are coming off back-to-back final minute losses at St. Bonaventure and to Dayton.
• Saint Louis and Duquesne are meeting for the second time this season. Earlier this year in Pittsburgh, Mike McCall Jr. scored 13 points, including a pair of free throws late, to help SLU escape with the win.
• Ovie Soko leads the team and is second in the A-10 with 18.5 ppg. He is also second in the league in A-10 games only, scoring at an 18.3 ppg clip. Soko gets to the free-throw line more than anyone in the A-10. In fact, he is third nationally with 245 attempts.
• Micah Mason, who was 5-of-7 from 3-point range against the Billikens earlier this year, leads the nation in 3-point shooting percentage. He has the highest offensive efficiency rating in the nation according to KenPom.com.
• Duquesne leads the A-10 with a 1.3 assist/turnover ratio.
• Jim Ferry is in his second season at Duquesne after spending the previous 10 seasons at LIU Brooklyn, where he led the Blackbirds to back-to-back NCAA Tournaments. He also coached at Adelphi and Plymouth State. His 16-year career coaching record is 273-205. He is 19-37 in two seasons in Pittsburgh.
For complete Billiken Game Notes, click here.