From first place last year to last place this year, the Saint Louis University Billikens have had a difficult time this season due to inconsistent play from their entire team and a lack of leadership. The Billikens lost, 78-50, against the George Mason Patriots. This game was seen as an opportunity to get a win against a struggling conference team, but the Patriots dominated the interior getting 36 points in the paint and out rebounding the Billikens 34-19.
The Patriots shot 60.9 percent for the game. They asserted their authority against the Billikens forwards and centers early in the game and continued to use their athleticism and strength against this young Bills team.
This was the Billikens worst loss at home since Nov. 1984 and the best opponent field goal percentage at Chaifetz Arena. SLU only strung together multiple field goals twice during the entire game. George Mason missed consecutive shots just once all game. The Billikens are going to attempt to put this game behind them as quickly as possible.
George Mason had an excellent first half. They shot 71.4 percent from the field in the first half. They dominated the interior as they slashed into the lane with Guard Marquise Moore who scored the first two points for the Patriots. GMU also went to Forward Jalen Jenkins and Center Shevon Thompson who exploited the Bills weakness in the interior. Jenkins scored 9 points in the first half and Thompson had 6 points. The Patriots had 18 points in the paint in the first half.
However, the Patriots also had excellent shooting from the outside by Guard Isaiah Jackson who went 4-5 from 3-point range in the first half. Jackson had 14 of his 18 points in the first half. The interior play and Jackson’s shooting allowed the Patriots to build a 19 point lead by halftime.
Saint Louis just struggled on both ends of the floor. The team has been inconsistent all season, but they had one of their worst games of the season. They lacked energy as the struggled to collect rebounds and gave up numerous second chance opportunities to the Patriots in the first half. The Bills only gathered 7 rebounds in the first half and shot 37 percent from the field.
The struggle continued in the second half for Saint Louis University. The closest they came was within 15 points early in the second half, but the Patriots used an 14-3 run to re-extend the lead to 26 points and never looked back.
The Patriots only shot 52 percent in the second half, but continued to destroy the Billikens in the paint as they had 18 points in the paint in the second half. Moore and Jackson continued to rain down buckets on the Billikens. Moore asserted his will by slashing into the lane against the energy-drained Billikens. Moore ended the game with 14 points.
Saint Louis will play its final home game against the St. Bonaventure Bonnies on Wednesday, March 4th at 8 p.m. eastern time. George Mason will return home for their final home game against the George Washington Colonials on Wednesday, March 4th at 7 p.m. eastern time.