Billikens Rally To Defeat GW

ST. LOUIS - Saint Louis used a 9-0 run late in the second half to help stake a 63-59 victory over George Washington Saturday in front of a season-high 9,690 at Chaifetz Arena.

The win, SLU's ninth in a row and 10th in 11 tries at Chaifetz Arena, moves the Billikens to 11-6 overall and 2-1 in the Atlantic 10 Conference. George Washington dips to 6-9 and 0-3 in the A-10 with the loss.

Kevin Lisch scored a game-high 18 points to lead SLU, including a crucial 3-pointer to cap the game-deciding 9-0 run. Tommie Liddell III added 14 points, while Brian Conklin and Kwamain Mitchell each had nine.

After SLU took a 57-50 lead with under three minutes to go following the run, GW clawed back to make it interesting late. But in the final 10 seconds, Barry Eberhardt converted on a traditional 3-point play to put SLU up by four and seal the win. The play was set up on a nice passing sequence from Liddell to Kyle Cassity to Eberhardt.

George Washington led throughout the majority of the first half, but SLU was able to keep the game close. After the Colonials stretched out to a 9-6 lead with 14:30 left in the first session, Conklin answered with a bucket in the paint off a nice dish by Liddell. GW managed a six-point lead with ten minutes to go, but Liddell nailed a pair of 3-pointers to help the Bills keep pace.

With GW leading 20-14 with seven minutes remaining, SLU went on a 5-0 run thanks to a 3-ball and lay-up by Mitchell. The two teams would trade buckets down the stretch, and a pair of Lisch free throws in the final 30 seconds of the first half helped SLU slim its deficit to one at 27-26.

The second half started with back-and-forth action, much like the first half. GW scored the first two field goals of the frame, but SLU quickly answered with a 3-ball from Lisch. Jumpers from Lisch and Mitchell pulled SLU back to within one at 36-35 with 15 minutes remaining.

Saint Louis took the lead for the first time since it was 4-2 early in the game at the 15 minute mark of the second half. Conklin corralled an offensive rebound off a Liddell missed foul shot and made the subsequent lay-up. Conklin's bucket capped a stretch of seven-of-eight points scored by Conklin in the middle of the second half.

After GW's Travis King erased the SLU lead with a big 3-point bucket, Lisch responded with a pretty reverse lay-in to put the Bills back on top at 48-47 with under eight minutes remaining in the contest.

GW briefly took the lead once again with a Wynton Witherspoon 3-pointer, but the Billikens reeled off nine straight to take a 57-50 lead with three minutes left.

Willie Reed began the spurt with a layin off an offensive board, and Liddell and Mitchell both buried fast-break baskets. After an offensive rebound by Barry Eberhardt, Lisch buried a 3-point bucket to stretch SLU to its biggest lead of the night and set up the thrilling final few minutes.

The Billikens continue A-10 play Jan. 22 when they travel to Temple to face the Owls. The game, which can be viewed on CBS College Sports, tips at 7 p.m.

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