With a loss to Wisconsin in their rear view mirror and a tough contest against Wichita State on the horizon, Saint Louis was able to contain its focus in defeating Old Dominion in Cancun on Wednesday evening, 62-52.
Senior forward all Atlantic 10 performer Dwayne Evans was once again the catalyst for the Billikens, as he finished with 21 points and dominated the interior throughout the game.
A hot five-for-five shooting start gave SLU an early 12-4 advantage, but a sloppy remainder of the half – both shooting and taking care of the ball – saw SLU up just 29-27 at the halftime break.
In the final frame, SLU buckled down on defense and held ODU to 34 percent shooting from the field.
The main story for SLU on Thanksgiving Eve was turnovers forced. The Monarchs were unsettled all night offensively, but the Billikens worked hard all night to keep ODU in a funk.
SLU had 18 thefts on the night and took advantage of those opportunities to score several times down the floor.
Senior guards Jordair Jett and Mike McCall Jr. each had three steals, and those led to runouts for Billiken buckets.
Also of note was freshman big man Reggie Agbeko, who started his first career game in place of Grandy Glaze, made a lot of plays that won't necessarily show up in the box score. He was his normal active self and kept a number of tipped balls alive for the Billikens. His energy paid dividends in the paint, as he scored five points. His defensive performance was also impressive, as he contested opponents' looks at the rim.
Senior Rob Loe contributed for the second straight game, pouring in 10 points with help from three triples.
With both teams struggling offensively, Evans stepped up and carried the torch. His 21 points were a season-high for the Billikens this year. With 12 first half points, he cemented his 25th straight double-figure scoring effort.
NOTE: Freshman forward Tanner Lancona suffered an ankle injury. He tested the ankle on the bench, but it was clear that he couldn't continue on. We will provide an update on his injury as soon as we get one.
NEXT: No. 12 Wichita State comes into Chaifetz Arena on Sunday, Dec. 1.
The Billikens will honor the late Rick Majerus, who passed away on Dec. 1, 2012.