Billikens Lose At Rhode Island

Kingston, R.I. - In a battle of contrasting styles, Rhode Island defeated Saint Louis 69-61 to end Billikens' four-game winning streak Saturday afternoon at the Ryan Center in Kingston, R.I.

The Rams lead the Atlantic 10 Conference in scoring, while the Billikens are second in scoring defense.

The Rams hit their first four shots of the game and jumped to a quick 8-0 lead. Barry Eberhardt put the Billikens on the board with a layup.

After a Tommie Liddell III hoop, Kevin Lisch drained a 3-pointer as SLU closed to 10-7. The Billikens remained down by three after an Eberhardt hoop eight minutes into the contest. Willie Reed threw down a dunk midway through the half as the Billikens drew to within one 14-13.

The Rams hit their first 3-pointer of the day and edged out to a 19-14 lead with seven minutes left in the first half. The Billikens got to 21-18 on a Kwamain Mitchell drive, but URI scored six in a burst and stretched the margin to 27-18. A jump hook by Reed finally ended the Rams' run.

Mitchell scored five points in a row to help the Billikens close it, but URI took a 32-25 lead into halftime.

The Rams started the second half like they began the game and scored eight of the first 10 points to open up a 40-27 lead. Lisch sank a 3-pointer and two free throws to help SLU close to 41-32. A Mitchell 3-pointer and Conklin layup got SLU to single digits at 46-37 with 9:20 left. However, the Rams answered with five straight to rebuild a 51-37 lead.

Brett Thompson hit his first 3-pointer of the year, and Mitchell scored on a drive to keep the Billikens in it 53-42 with seven to play. Conklin scored five straight points in the late going, and a Mitchell 3-pointer trimmed the deficit to 61-52 with 2:42 remaining.

The Billikens are 15-10, 6-5 in the A-10, while the Rams now stand at 18-8, 7-4 in the A-10. The Billikens are next in action Wednesday, Feb. 18, in a 9 p.m. game as Saint Joseph's visits Chaifetz Arena.

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