Cards travel to St. Louis to face Billikins

The #2 Louisville Cardinals (18-1, 8-0)take their nation's best 17 game winning streak on the road Wednesday night to face the Saint Louis Billikins (8-12, 2-7). The game will be televised live on WDRB at 8:00.

Cards travel to St. Louis to face Billikins

Date: Wednesday, February 12, 2003
Time: 8:10 pm
Site: Savvis Center - St. Louis, MO
Television: WDRB
Radio: WHAS (840 AM)
Series History:  The Cards lead the series 43-19
Last Meeting:  Louisville won 73-54,  Jan. 11, 2003
National Rankings:
   SAINT LOUIS      Not ranked
   LOUISVILLE       2nd AP, 2nd Coaches
Significant injuries: SLU - None  U of L - None

The second ranked Cards (18-1, 8-0) takes their nation's best 17 game winning streak back on the road to take on the Saint Louis Billikins (8-12, 2-7) Wednesday night in an American Division showdown.

Since the Cards last meeting with Saint Louis in the Hall on January 11, the Billikins have had a bit of a rough ride and this Wednesday's meeting at the Savvis Center in St. Louis should prove interesting as the 8-12 Billikens (2-7 in C-USA) take on the 2nd ranked Louisville Cardinals (18-1, 8-0 in C-USA).

The Cardinals have dominated the series 43-19. However, Saint Louis had won four in a row in the series until UofL posted a 73-54 triumph in their first meeting. That game was tied with 14 minutes to play, but as is the creed of this Cardinal team, conditioning and talent took over and they pulled away late. The Cards have not swept the season series since the 1995-96 season, while the Billikens swept each of the past two seasons. The Bills are 8-4 against the Cards in their last 12 games overall and have won five straight at Savvis. SLU is 13-15 all-time against UofL in St. Louis. 

The Billikens lost a nationally televised game with C-USA power Cincinnati. A game that had SLU head coach Brad Soderberg watching from afar, out with the flu as UC shot 53.3% from the arc in the 66-56 loss at the Savvis Center. Even though the Billikens had early leads of 9-2 and 18-11, and out-rebounded the Bearcats 33-32 with 13 on the offensive glass, UC Senior Leonard Stokes could not be contained and dropped 25 on SLU in the victory.

Three days later, St. Louis traveled to Houston and were again without their head coach and handed the game to the Cougars that snapped a 7 game Houston losing streak and was the Cougars first C-USA victory of the season. Houston allowed only 2 baskets from Billikens during a 13-minute stretch while the Cougars scored 21.

Saint Louis returned to the Savvis Center and rewarded the home crowd with a 69-66 win against John Calipari's Memphis team. In a see-saw battle that SLU lead by 6 with 52-47 with 8:28 to play, the Billikens never relinquished the lead.  It took two free throws from senior Marque Perry to seal the win however, as Memphis' Antonio Burks sank a deep 3 with 1.1 to play to cut the lead to one, 67-66. Perry was immediately fouled on the inbounds and coolly sank the both free throws for the win.  Perry hit 13-14 from the charity stripe and scored 24, the most for any Billiken this season.

Back on the road, SLU sang the blues as they dropped their 6th game on the road, 62-55 to the Charlotte 49ers.  The score  went back and forth in the first half with three ties and four lead changes before the 49ers wrested control late in the second half. An 11-2 run over a 3-1/2 minute span opened a 32-22 lead before SLU cut the lead to seven at the half. The Billikens got 33 points from the combination of Marque Perry and Chris Sloan, but could not overcome 17 turnovers and three lengthy scoring droughts.

In what seemingly was a conscious scheduling effort, the short road stretch ended and Saint Louis returned home to face then 11-7 (3-4 in C-USA) Blue Demons of Depaul. Once again, Marque Perry assumed control, tossing in a career high 28. The senior guard scored the Bills' last 16 points and drilled a Milt Wagner like 13-of-14 free throws in the final 3:47. DePaul shot 45.5 percent from the field, 16.7 percent from three and 80 percent from the free throw line. Although the Blue Demons controlled the boards with a 30-22 advantage, the 13 turnovers negated any advantage they gained on the glass.

In typical fashion, the Billikens went back on the road, this time to #14 Marquette. The Bills' jumped to a 30-20 first half lead with 6:47 to play as senior center Kenny Brown made one of two free throws. Marquette closed the half with a 12-4 run to pull within 34-32 at the break and SLU senior guard Marque Perry led all scorers with 10 points in the first 20 minutes. Marquette (16-3, 8-1) shot only 39.7 percent from the field as the Billikens held C-USA leading scorer Dwayne Wade to 3-of-17 shooting. MU made up for its off shooting night with 12 points off 13 Billiken turnovers and 13 second chance points off 13 offensive rebounds. The Golden Eagles won their 27th straight home game over Saint Louis 68-64 at the Bradley Center in Chicago.

The Billikens stayed on the road, traveling to Tampa where they hoped to add a loss to South Florida's 10-1 home record. However, the Billikins road woes continued as the Bulls held serve and handed the Bills' their 9th road loss of the season and for themselves home win #11, 71-64 behind a season-high 59.5 percent from the field. The Bulls knocked down 75 percent of its free throws and turned 15 SLU turnovers into 25 points.

Now the Billikens return home.  However, it's doubtful they're excited as they face the red hot #2 Louisville Cardinals (18-1, 8-0).

ITV Keys to the Game:    Stop Marque Perry's penetration. Perry leads the Bills in scoring (16.4, only Billiken in double figures), shots taken (256), free throws taken (100) and free throws made (79). The 6'1 Chicago guard is also second in rebounds (4.9 behind Kenny Brown's 6.4) and assists (67) but is also first on the team in turnovers (54). The Cards must keep Perry off the charity stripe, especially if the score is close late in the second half.  The Cards will need a strong rebounding effort and must keep Brown and Perry off the defensive glass as 70% of their rebounds come from the senior duo (180-420).

Expect the Savvis Center jinx to end Wednesday night as the Cards roll past the Billikins, 80-61 to improve to 19-1 on the season.

STATISTICAL COMPARISON

Louisville
Statistical Category

Saint Louis

84.1
Points
61
64.9
Opponent Points
63.2
+19.2
Scoring Margin
-2.1
.477
FG %
.437
.395
Opponent FG %
.432
.370
3PT FG %
.345
.279
Opponent 3PT FG %
.375
.713
Free Throw %
.642
38.8
Rebounds
30.0
35.0
Opponent Rebounds
33.1
+3.8
Rebounding Margin
-3.1
17.5
Assists
12.4
13.8
Turnovers
12.1
4.9
Blocks
2.5

7.5

Steals

6.0

PROBABLE STARTING LINEUPS

#2 Louisville Cardinals (18-1, 8-0)
Pos No. Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
F 2 Ellis Myles 6-8 235 Jr.
7.8
7.9
1.8
F 33 Erik Brown 6-5 205 Sr.
7.4
2.5
1.1
C 21 Marvin Stone 6-10 240 Sr.
13.0
8.2
1.4
G 5 Taquan Dean 6-3 175 Fr.
8.4
2.8
1.6
G 22 Reece Gaines 6-6 205 Sr.
18
2.5
5.3
Saint Louis (8-12, 2-7)
Pos No . Name
Ht
Wt
Yr
PPG
RPG
APG
G 4 Josh Fisher 6-2 200 Jr.
8.9
2.7
2.9
G 20 Anthony Dejaj 6-2 190 Fr.
7.1
1.8
2.5
G 5 Marque Perry 6-1 170 Sr.
16.4
4.9
3.1
C 41 Kenny Brown 6-10 250 Sr. 6.8
6.4
.4
F 33 Chris Sloan 6-7 215 Fr.
6.6
3.0
.8

 

Cards last 5 games
 Date Opponent Result
 Sat, Jan 25 at Tennessee W 72-69
 Wed, Jan 29 at Southern Mississippi W 94-65
 Sat, Feb 1 Indiana W 95-76
 Wed, Feb 5 Cincinnati W 77-71
 Sat, Feb 8 at Houston W 81-55
Billikins last 5 games
 Date Opponent Result
 Sat, Jan 25 Memphis W 69-66
 Wed, Jan 29 at Charlotte L 55-62
 Sat, Feb 1 DePaul W 65-57
 Wed, Feb 5 at Marquette L 64-68
 Sat, Feb 8 at South Florida L 64-71

TIDBITS

  • Saint Louis is third defensively in C-USA, holding opponents to 63.2 ppg
  • The Billikins held Marquette to its second worst shooting night on the season .392 last week
  • Marque Perry is 6th in C-USA in scoring at 16.2 points per game
  • Saint Louis is 100-35 in eight seasons at the Savvis Center
  • Saint Louis is ranked #85 in the RPI
  • The Cards are 7-0 on the road this season while the Billikins are 7-4 at home on the season

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