The Full Court Press: Ben Weixlmann (March 1)

Ben Weixlmann, Atlantic 10 writer for Scout.com, joined The Full Court Press Thursday morning to talk Billikens & A-10 hoops.

You can follow Ben on Twitter and read his articles on Scout.com.

March 2-FULL SHOW

SEGMENT 1-SHOW OPEN

Recapping the latest SLU and Mizzou games

SEGMENT 2-Wiexlman Part 1

Thoughts on SLU’s win over Xavier; It has been a bad couple of days for the A-10; There’s plenty of parody in the A-10; Who’s going to replace Temple if they leave?; Fran Dunphy should win conference COY

SEGMENT 3-Wiexlman Part 2

SLU’s about as close a team could be to being a lock without being a lock; No one wants to face a Majerus team in the tournament; Duke would probably pose the most problems for SLU; What makes this team successful?

Next week on The Full Court Press: Jarrett Sutton will join the program to some Mizzou hoops as they prepare for the Big 12 tournament.

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Grand Finale: Conklin, SLU roar back to beat Xavier on Senior Night

ST. LOUIS – Senior Brian Conklin put on a show in his final game at Chaifetz Arena, racking up 23 points and six rebounds to help Saint Louis University knock off Xavier 70-59 Tuesday night. The victory improves the Billikens to 11-4 in the Atlantic 10 and guarantees them a first-round bye in the A-10 tournament.

SLU’s halftime deficit may have been just 10 points, but they looked like a team on the verge of a total collapse after the first 20 minutes. Their long-range shooters hit just two of 12 three-pointers, while their usually airtight defense had allowed the Musketeers to shoot 52% from the floor.

“In the first half, they were tentative offensively,” SLU coach Rick Majerus said in an interview with Post Dispatch writer Tom Timmerman. “They don’t understand that your defense drives your offense, so we had a bit of complacency defensively.”

Playing in front of the second largest crowd in the four-year history of Chaifetz Arena, the Billikens roared back from a 10-point halftime deficit, outscoring the Musketeers 30-9 over the first 15 minutes of the second half.

Perhaps the biggest turning point of the game came when Dezmine Wells missed a dunk five minutes into the second half that would have given Xavier a three-point lead.

Earl Austin Jr. called it an omen during the radio broadcast and sure enough, SLU grabbed its first lead of the night on the very next possession behind a lay-up from Conklin.

Xavier attempted to stage a late comeback, cutting the score to 64-54 with two minutes left, but Conklin responded with a jumper to drive in the final dagger for SLU.

Things went so well in the second half for SLU that Majerus was even able to call a timeout with two seconds left to sub out his two seniors, Conklin and Kyle Cassity, and let them get a standing ovation from the energetic crowd.

“I knew we weren’t going to lose this one,” he said. “I definitely wasn’t going to go out with a loss. That wasn’t going to happen, so I was not worried at all [at halftime].”

Cassity, who, to avoid upsetting the team’s rotation, turned down an opportunity to start in his final home game, chalked Tuesday’s victory up to a strong defensive performance.

“It was all defense,” he said. “We didn’t do much different on offense. We hit some shots, but defensively, we just stopped them.”

Kwamain Mitchell headed to the locker room early in the second half after a collision with a Xavier defender left him disoriented. He returned with about four minutes left and finished the game with 14 points. Mike McCall also scored in double figures for the Billikens, who finished the game shooting 38% from the floor and 28% from behind the arc.

Dezmine Wells finished recorded a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Xavier, who out-rebounded the Billikens 34-30.

If Temple wins tonight, they will clinch the A-10 tournament outright. If they lose, however, SLU could grab at least a share of the title with a victory Saturday morning against Duquesne. Tip-off in that game is scheduled for 11 am in Pittsburgh.

Quotes via STLToday.com

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The Full Court Press with special guest Bob Ramsey

It is a special edition of the Full Court Press on HSB Radio and HanksSportsBlog.com as Billikens play-by-play announcer Bob Ramsey joins the show to talk about SLU’s strong start to the season.

Here are some notable excerpts from my interview with Rammer, which can be heard in its entirety here. (Click “here” for the link)

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Saint Louis University snaps two game skid with 78-76 victory over George Washington

SAINT LOUIS, MO – The Saint Louis University Billikens bounced back from a disappointing overtime loss to Dayton earlier in the week, with a 78-56 victory over the George Washington Colonials Saturday evening at Chaifetz Arena.

SLU’s Dwayne Evans led all scorers with 19 points and 11 rebounds. Evans had a strong night shooting the ball, hitting eight of ten shots from the floor.

Kwamain Mitchell (15), Rob Loe (11), and Jordair Jett (10) were the other scorers to finish in double figures for the Billikens, who shot 50% from the field as a team.

Defensively, SLU allowed just two GW players to reach double figures in scoring (David Pellom-15; Tony Taylor-13) and forced 15 turnovers. The Billikens also out-rebounded the Colonials 32-19.

SLU will welcome the Temple Owls to Chaifetz Arena Wednesday night. After upsetting the no. 3 Duke Blue Devils 78-73, Temple suffered a letdown against Dayton Saturday afternoon, dropping an 87-77 decision. Tip-off from Chaifetz Arena is set for 8 pm.

 

Saint Louis University Billikens open conference play with 79-72 loss to Dayton Flyers in an overtime thriller

DAYTON, OH – After a dramatic three-pointer tied the game at the end of regulation, the Saint Louis University Billikens collapsed in overtime, falling to the Dayton Flyers 79-72. It was the sixth time in six years that SLU and Dayton needed extra time to determine the victor.

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