Billikens Beat Belmont For Seventh Win

ST. LOUIS — When the Saint Louis University basketball team took a 14-point lead with 7 minutes and 51 seconds left against visiting Belmont on Wednesday night, it looked like the Billikens had the game in hand.

But the remainder of the second half produced several anxious moments for the home team and their fans. Point guard Kwamain Mitchell had to leave the floor after being hit in the eye. Femi John fouled out, leaving just two players left on SLU's bench. Forward Brian Conklin was called for technical foul.

Saint Louis University's free throw shooting, which has been shaky at times, was solid enough down the stretch as the Billikens converted eight of 12 in the final minute to hold off Belmont for a 75-67 victory at Chaifetz Arena.

"I thought we played real good D," SLU coach Rick Majerus said. "Our effort defensively is good sometimes. … I thought the guys did a good job defensively and that's what is keeping us in these games."

The Billikens improved to 7-3 on the season and 7-0 at Chaifetz Arena.

Mitchell, SLU's sophomore point guard, led all scorers with 20 points on seven-of-12 shooting and added three rebounds and two steals in 28 minutes before leaving the game with 2:59 remaining.

"He usually asks under any circumstances that he stay in," Majerus said. "He wasn't begging me to stay in, so I knew he was really hurt."

Sophomore forward Willie Reed continued his strong play, despite only playing 20 minutes because of early foul trouble. Reed finished with 16 points, on seven-of-10 shooting, nine rebounds and three blocked shots.

Conklin finished with 13 points and nine rebounds, which matched his career-high, in 34 minutes. Freshman guard Justin Jordan scored eight points. Sophomore guard Kyle Cassity had five points, three assists and three steals. Freshman forward Cory Remekun had four points, four rebounds and six blocked shots in 21 minutes.

"I thought Remekun did a really good job defensively tonight and is playing better and better," Majerus said. "… I really liked what Cory brought to us."

Mick Hedgepath led Belmont (7-3) with 13 points, while Kerron Johnson added 11. Sophomore point guard Drew Hanlen, whose sister Ashley is a freshman guard at Saint Louis U., scored eight points off the bench.

The Billikens return to action on Saturday night when they host Missouri State.

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