Saint Louis Wins Fourth Straight

ST. LOUIS — Saint Louis senior guard Kevin Lisch scored a team-high 18 points as the Billikens posted their fourth straight victory, 69-61 over Charlotte in an Atlantic 10 Conference men's basketball showdown at Chaifetz Arena Wednesday night.

With the win, the Billikens improve to 15-9 overall (12-2 at Chaifetz Arena) and 6-4 in the A-10, which puts them in a tie for fifth. Charlotte dips to 8-15 and 2-7 in the A-10.

Lisch's 18 points, all of which were scored in the second half, came on 5-of-10 shooting from the field and four of seven from the beyond the arc. Kwamain Mitchell notched 14 points, including eight of 10 from the charity stripe, in addition to pulling down six rebounds. Tommie Liddell III chipped in with 13 points while Barry Eberhardt added 11.

The Billikens got off to a sluggish start and hit just 36 percent of their shots in the first half, but responded with a 57-percent shooting clip in the second.

A Liddell 3-pointer gave the Billikens an early 6-5 lead, but Charlotte went on an 11-0 run to stretch out to a 16-6 lead. A Kyle Cassity 3-ball at the 10:51 snapped the rally, and the teams would trade buckets over the next several minutes. Included in the back-and-forth action was a Mitchell coast-to-coast basket off a rebound that made it 21-15 Niners with 8:34 left.

The Billikens' next seven points came via Liddell and Mitchell free throws, and that allowed the Billikens to pull to within three at 25-22 at the final media timeout of the first half.

Willie Reed scored a pair of tough baskets to pull the Billikens to within one late in the half, and the Billikens took the lead for the first time since very early in the matchup when Mitchell buried two free throws to make it 28-27 Bills with 1:16 left in the first half. But Charlotte's DiJaun Harris had the ball for the final possession of the frame and went in for a running layup to give Charlotte a 29-28 advantage at the break.

SLU came out of the locker room and quickly grabbed the lead on an Eberhardt jumper. Later, Lisch nailed his first points of the contest on a floater and a 3-pointer from the left corner to give the Bills a 39-33 lead early in the second half.

The Billikens opened out to a12 point lead at the second media timeout of the second period thanks to some hot 3-point shooting. Lisch nailed three 3-pointers in a 12-4 run, and Eberhardt added another. Lisch's 3-pointer at 11:21, his fourth straight from 3-point range, gave the Billikens a 53-41 advantage with just under 11 minutes left.

Charlotte would slim its deficit to seven points at 68-61 with less than a minute remaining in the game, but the Billikens would play strong defense down the stretch to hang on for the win.

Saint Louis returns to action Saturday, Feb. 14, when it travels to Rhode Island for a 1 p.m. (CT) tip. The game against the Rams will be broadcast on St. Louis on KPLR Channel 11.

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