Game ball: Raphiael Putney. The 6-foot-8 forward came out scorching from deep and ended with 22 points and 10 rebounds. Putney tallied 17 points in the first half en route to a 45-26 halftime score.
Key Number: 42.1%. That was SLU's free-throw percentage today. They were able to mount several second half comebacks, but were abruptly halted by horrific shooting from the charity stripe.
Weix's Take: SLU dug itself quite the hole in the first half, and could never overcome it. Brian Conklin's ankle was no excuse for the SLU Billikens. He played significant minutes, and played surprisingly well despite his injury. The explanation is simple: free throws. You simply can't come back from 19 points down with an abysmal FT-shooting performance. Kwamain Mitchell and Dwayne Evans could never find a rhythm, and Putney and Chaz Williams were tough to neutralize. The A-10 has been called a number of things this season, but I think using the word "crazy" will suffice at this moment. UMass was picked 12th in the preseason, and is currently (until the evening games) in sole possession of first place. SLU drops back into a tie with Xavier at 4-3, behind a host of schools still at 4-2, pending tonight's games.
Up Next: After a tough week on the road, the 16-5 Billikens (4-3 A-10) return home for games against St. Bonaventure and Dayton.