Cassity Leads Saint Louis Past UMass

Kyle Cassity scored 16 points to lead four Saint Louis players in double figures as the Billikens won their sixth straight game, 69-56 at Massachusetts on Sunday in Amherst, Mass.

The Billikens improve to 18-8 overall sit in fourth place in the Atlantic 10 Conference with a 9-3 slate. SLU has won three straight road games for the first time since the 2002-03 season.

SLU led 30-29 lead at halftime, and the Minutemen tied the game at 39-39 four minutes into the second half. Cody Ellis drained his fourth 3-pointer to give the Bills a lead they would not surrender the rest of the way. A bucket by UMass cut the lead to 42-41, but the Billikens answered with a 12-2 run.

Cory Remekun scored on a wing jumper, and Willie Reed scored on a tip in with one second left on the shot clock to put SLU up by four. Cassity hit two free throws, but Terrell Vinson answered with two from the stripe to cut the SLU margin to 48-43 with 11 minutes to play. Christian Salecich sank a shot from just inside the 3-point arc, and Kwamain Mitchell drilled consecutive jumpers to push the Billikens on top 54-43. Ricky Harris completed a 3-point play to draw UMass to 54-46, but Cassity responded with a deep trey to restore a 12-point lead.

The Minutemen cut the lead to eight on two occasions, but SLU answered each time. Mitchell swished two free throws with 3:11 to push the Billikens to their largest lead of the day, 65-52, and the Billikens eased to their third straight road victory.

In the first half, the Minutemen led13-11 before the Billikens held UMass scoreless for more than six minutes. Jon Smith's layup ignited a 10-0 Billiken lead. Cassity hit a jumper, and Ellis and Cassity swished back-to-back 3-pointers as SLU roared to a 24-13 advantage. However, the Minutemen slowly cut into the Billiken lead and cut the deficit to 30-29 at halftime.

Cassity hit five-of-eight shots from the field, two 3-pointers and four of five from the line en route to 16 points. He added four rebounds and three assists. Reed converted seven-of-10 shots and recorded 14 points, a team-high seven rebounds and blocked three shots. Ellis was four of eight from 3-point range for 14 points, and Mitchell chipped in 11 points and four assists.

Ricky Harris scored a game-high 23 points to lead the Minutemen (10-17, 4-9 A-10). The Bills shot a season-high 80 percent from the free-throw line.

The Billikens host Xavier Wednesday, Feb. 24, in a 7 p.m. game at Chaifetz Arena. The game will be the "Billiken Blizzard" and all fans are urged to wear white to the game.

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