Billikens Beat St. Ambrose In Exhibition

ST. LOUIS - Willie Reed scored six points during a 13-0 outburst in the second half as the Saint Louis Billikens posted a 61-47 victory over St. Ambrose in exhibition action Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

The Billikens begin the regular season next Saturday, Nov. 14, when they host Southeast Missouri State in a 7 p.m. contest.

With the score tied at 43-43 with less than seven minutes left to play, Jeff Reid hit two free throws to ignite the decisive run. Reed followed with a jump hook in the lane then followed with a thunderous dunk for a 49-43 margin. Reid stole the ball, and in one quick motion, pass ahead to Kyle Cassity for an easy layup. Reed tacked on a short shot, and Kwamain Mitchell hit one free throw. Cassity converted another layup for a 56-43 lead as the Billikens finally moved out to a comfortable margin over the Fighting Bees.

SAU broke the Billiken run with two free throws, but Reid swished a long 3-pointer from the right side to close the run and seal the victory.

The Billikens used a 9-2 run to break from a 2-2 tie at the start of the contest. Mitchell drained a 3-pointer, and after a hoop by SAU's Matt Coakley, Brian Conklin completed a three-point play for an 8-4 lead. Christian Salecich swished a long trey from the left wing for an 11-4 lead at the 16:32 mark.

The Fighting Bees scored on a short jumper, but Mitchell scored on a drive then hit two free throws for a 15-6 Billiken advantage. Neither team scored for almost two minutes, but Conklin scored on a layup and a 17-6 SLU lead.

SAU cut into the gap and closed to 17-11, but the Billikens tallied six straight for their biggest lead of the half. Mitchell converted a layup and free throw, and Justin Jordan sank back-to-back 3-pointers for a 26-14 lead with 6:23 to play before halftime.

Down 27-17, St. Ambrose scored six straight points before Mitchell broke the SLU drought with two free throws. SAU inched to within three at 29-26, but the Billikens took a 33-28 lead at the break.

Consecutive 3-pointers by St. Ambrose gave the visitors the lead early in the second half. The Fighting Bees went up by three at 40-37, before Salecich tied the game with a trey. The teams traded the lead until the game was tied at 43-43 before the Billikens went on their game winning run.

Mitchell led all scorers with 23 points, including 17 in the first half, while Reed hauled down a game-high nine rebounds. Reed and Salecich chipped in eight points for the Billikens.

Mike Kennedy led St. Ambrose with 17 points. The Billikens forced the Fighting Bees into shooting just 32.6 percent from the field.

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