Billikens Lose A-10 Opener

The Saint Louis University basketball team's Atlantic 10 Conference opener at George Washington on Thursday night could have been an opportunity to build on a three-game winning streak and start the league schedule with some momentum.

Instead, the Billikens set the Division I record for fewest points in a game since the shot clock was introduced and lost 49-20 at Charles E. Smith Center in Washington, D.C.

"I thought GW played tough on defense," SLU coach Rick Majerus told the Associated Press. "We had some issues. You have to credit GW for playing very well. We have some issues in terms of our offensive proficiency. I tried to keep coaching the game. Sometimes you miss. We are a team that has some issues. That is why we are practicing (Friday). We did miss some good shots, yes. Anyone can look at us and see we don't have height, we don't have depth."

The shot clock was introduced during the 1985-86 season. The previous low for points scored in a game before Thursday night was Georgia Southern's 21 points against Coastal Carolina in 1996 and Princeton's 21 points against Monmouth in 2005.

That dubious distinction earned the Billikens a "highlight" package on SportsCenter and headlines on all the major sports websites, including ESPN.com, FoxSports.com and CNNSI.com.

Saint Louis (9-6, 0-1) trailed 11-1 to start the game and 25-7 at halftime.

The Billikens missed 22 of 25 shot attempts in the first half, including all eight of their 3-point attempts. George Washington's seven blocked shots in the first 20 minutes matched the visitors' point total in the first half.


Kevin Lisch (Keith Srakocic/AP)

The only bright spot of the game was Kevin Lisch's jump shot with 10 minutes and 21 seconds left in the first half that gave the junior guard 1,000 points for his career. He is just the 23rd player in SLU history to hit that milestone.

But obviously that achievement came on a night that everyone else would rather forget.

SLU has suffered its shooting woes at various times during the first year of the Majerus era, but never like this. The Billikens were actually coming off a game with one of their best first-half performances.

In the Dec. 29 win over IUPUI at Scottrade Center, Saint Louis made 55 percent (11 of 20) of its shot attempts and connected on five of 10 3-point attempts in the first 20 minutes.

That must have felt like an alternate universe on Thursday night, as SLU missed 23 consecutive shots over an 18-minute span that bridged the first and second halves.

For the game, the Billikens made just 14.6 percent of their shots (seven of 48) and missed 18 of 19 3-point attempts.

Tommie Liddell III was one-of-12 shooting. Lisch was one of nine. Freshman guard Paul Eckerle was one of eight, including one of six from behind the 3-point arc. Senior forward Luke Meyer was two of seven.

Senior center Bryce Husak led the team in scoring with five points in 18 minutes off the bench.

George Washington, which was led by 13 points and 10 rebounds by Damian Hollis, improved to 5-6 with the victory.

This loss comes at a time for the Billikens. The Atlantic 10 Conference is thriving, with three teams ranked in the top 25 for the first time since 2003, and No. 17 Dayton visits Scottrade Center on Saturday night.

Box Score

AP Story on ESPN.com


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