SLU Romps Dayton 81-52

ST. LOUIS, Mo. -- There was no Butler hangover on Saturday as Saint Louis blasted Dayton, 81-52. Junior big man Rob Loe notched 17 points and was joined by three other Billikens in double figures.

In what can be classified as one of the best weeks in recent memory for Saint Louis University men's basketball, the Billikens dominated No. 9 Butler and then came back just 40 hours later and thrashed Dayton.

After a rough patch to start off conference play, SLU is now 16-5 on the season and 5-2 in Atlantic 10 play.

From the tip, the Billikens had absolutely zero signs of a flat showing as they got on top of the Flyers early and continued to dominate throughout the first 20 minutes.

Just days removed from forcing 23 turnovers, the Billikens put together yet another tremendous defensive effort as they made Dayton turn the ball over 21 times on Saturday.

Junior forward Dwayne Evans continued a stellar streak of recent play with 15 points and seven rebounds on six-of-nine shooting. He is now shooting 19-for-26 in his last three games.

An important part of the Billikens' game plan was limiting star Kevin Dillard's looks at the basket, and they did so with much success. Dillard, who came into the game averaging nearly 15 points was limited to just nine points as SLU hedged well on repeated ball screens throughout the game.

Kwamain Mitchell and Jordair Jett also played strong floor games for the Bills, who led 39-23 at halftime and didn't look back, leading by as much as 35 at one point.

Historically this game has been a tight affair between two rivals, but the showdown at Chaifetz Arena on this day couldn't have been further from the norm.

"They're the best team we've played all year," said UD coach Archie Miller. "They're one of the best teams in the country in on-ball defense."

Pestered by the Bills' defense all afternoon long, the Flyers never found any rhythm offensively despite coming into the game as one of the highest scoring squads in the Atlantic 10 at 72 points per game.

"I'm proud, tickled, excited about how our guys responded," SLU coach Jim Crews said. "For [us] to start like they started and to sustain how they played was extremely pleasing."

In a league that has produced more parity and ups-and-downs that almost any other conference in the country, the Billikens now find themselves near the top of the pack with a good chance at making a run for a title.

"Everyone's got one mission -- to win an [A10] championship," Mitchell said."

After this past week, SLU certainly has placed itself in solid footing to compete for the crown.

Next: SLU vs. Fordham, Wed., Feb. 6 at 7 PM.

On Deck: SLU at Richmond., Sat., Feb. 9 at 5 PM.

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