Saint Louis forward Jordair Jett (5) steals the ball away from George Washington forward Lasen Kromah (20) during first half of their NCAA college basketball game, Saturday, March 2, 2013, in Washington. (AP Photo/Richard Lipski)
Saturday, March 02, 2013 6:20 pm
No. 18 Saint Louis holds off GW 66-58
By HARVEY `VALENTINEAssociated Press
With two games remaining in the regular season, Saint Louis (23-5, 12-2 Atlantic 10) holds a one-game lead over Virginia Commonwealth (23-6, 11-3), which routed No. 20 Butler 84-52 on Saturday.
Reigning Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week Kevin Larsen led George Washington with 14 points. The Colonials (12-15, 6-8) have lost three straight and five of six.
The Colonials led by three with just over 7 minutes left when the Billikens put together a 10-0 run. Evans hit two free throws and then converted a layup when Mitchell's 3-point attempts came up short. Rob Loe, Evans and Mitchell all made two free throws on consecutive possessions to put Saint Louis up 55-48 with 4:20 left.
George Washington got no closer than five points the rest of the way.
Saint Louis finished 21 of 24 from the free throw line.
It is the Billikens' longest winning streak since they won 14 straight to start 1993-94.
Up by eight points and with the ball early in the second half, Saint Louis committed turnovers on seven of its next nine possessions as George Washington went on a 14-5 run and took its first lead of the game, 42-41, on a dunk by Nemanja Mikic off a steal by Lasan Kromah, who finished with 12 points.
The Colonials entered Saturday's game in a four-way tie for ninth place in the Atlantic 10 standings with Charlotte, Saint Joseph's and Saint Bonaventure, a game ahead of 13th-place Dayton.
The top 12 teams in the final 16-team league standings qualify for the 2013 A-10 Championship March 14-17.
The Billikens twice built eight-point leads in the first half, but went cold from the field as George Washington rallied.
The Colonials had a chance to tie it after Larsen was fouled while converting a layup with 4:15 left, but he missed the free throw.
After the teams traded baskets St. Louis went on a 7-1 spurt, capped by a 3-pointer from the corner by Rob, and took a 32-26 lead into halftime.