No. 12 Saint Louis holds off VCU 64-62

No. 12 Saint Louis holds off VCU 64-62

Credit: AP Photo

Saint Louis' Jordair Jett (5) tries to dribble out of double coverage by VCU's Rob Brandenberg (11) and Juvonte Reddic (15) in the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, Feb. 15, 2014 in St. Louis. Saint Louis beat VCU 64-62.(AP Photo/Tom Gannam)

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by R.B. FALLSTROM

AP

Posted on February 15, 2014 at 5:23 PM

 ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Dwayne Evans had 21 points and 10 rebounds and No. 12 Saint Louis broke a late tie with seven straight points, beating VCU 64-62 for its 17th straight victory on Saturday.

The Billikens (23-2, 10-0 Atlantic 10) blew a 12-point second-lead before finally putting away VCU (20-6, 8-3) in a matchup of the Atlantic 10's top two teams. Jordair Jett and Rob Loe had 14 points apiece for Saint Louis, which beat VCU for a third straight time.

Mike McCall Jr. and Jordair Jett drove for layups and Rob Loe hit a 3-pointer with the shot clock winding down for a seven-point lead with 36 seconds to go. VCU cut the deficit to three before Loe hit the second of two free throws for a four-point gap with 8 seconds left.

Treveon Graham had 16 points and eight rebounds for VCU, which had won seven of eight. Juvonte Reddic had 13 points and Briante Weber had 12 points and nine rebounds.

Evans had eight points and Jett scored five in an 18-4 run that gave Saint Louis its largest lead at 49-37 near the midway point of the second half. Evans ripped the rebound out of a VCU player's hands before converting his own miss and had a driving dunk during the stretch.

VCU scored the next seven points to get back into it and Graham's three-point play tied it 53-53 with 2:17 to go. Saint Louis helped VCU rally by making 2 of 8 free throws and twice missing the front end of the bonus after taking the 12-point lead.

The matchup attracted the largest crowd at 6-year-old Chaifetz Arena of 10,639, also Saint Louis' first sellout of the season.

Saint Louis was bothered by VCU pressure early and had eight turnovers the first nine minutes, totaling 12 in the half. Saint Louis had five turnovers the second half.

Both teams' top threats had slow starts. Graham made 1 of 6 in the first half and got on the scoreboard with two free throws with 5:12 to go, and Jett was 0 for 3 with two turnovers before getting rolling with five points the final 2:33 of the half to help Saint Louis take a 30-27 lead.

Jett had the hot hand early in the second half, too, totaling his first 11 points in just over six minutes

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