The final score of 74-50 was in line with what was expected in tonight’s matchup at Chaifetz Arena, with SLU downing Rockhurst. But, the final score does not tell the tale of the continued offensive struggles. Struggles in the way of early execution of the offensive, fifteen turnovers, and 18-28 shooting from the free-throw line.
The Bills only led 29-26 at the half, due almost entirely to allowing Rockhurst to go 7-14 from deep in a first half in which Drew Diener’s Hawks set screen after screen to set anyone and everyone up for a chance at a look from three.
This offense should be expected from a Diener coached team. His mentality, as shown in his career at SLU is all threes, all the time. While in a Billiken uniform from '99-'03 Diener attempted 399 FG, 310 of which were from deep.
But, the strategy did not work in the second half, with the Bills outscoring the Hawks 45-24 to put the team away.
Hasahn French stated in the post-game press conference that, “We needed to communicate better in the second half” to stop the three-point barrage. Jalen Johnson spoke to the team’s energy throughout the game. “We need to maintain our energy and keep building.”
And that is what the Billikens did to close out the final ten minutes of the contest. In all five Billikens scored In double figures, led by the 14 of Jalen Johnson and the 13 of French in a balanced attack. Junior Javon Bess added a solid all-around performance with 10 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists, and a steal. Hyped freshman Jordan Goodwin made his first field goal of the season with a late second-half tip in, to break an 0-17 start of the year. Despite his struggles scoring the ball from the field he again affected the contest with his all-around game finishing with 8 points, 8 assists, 6 rebounds, 2 blocks and a steal.