Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Billikens Risk Perfect Record on GMC Road

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Billikens Risk Perfect Record on GMC Road

Article excerpt

There's been a whole lot of lovin' for the Billikens lately in the friendly confines of The Arena.

"We look forward to every one of our home games," St. Louis University junior Scott Highmark said. "We've just got this feeling that we're not going to lose at home."

Easy to understand that feeling. The Bills have averaged more than 14,000 for their last four games at The Arena, topped by the record 18,073 fans who watched them thump Memphis State on Tuesday. SLU has built its 13-0 record largely with the help of nine home games.

It's time to find out how good they really are.

SLU is in the midst of a 15-day stretch between home games. The Billikens will play at DePaul (10-2) at 3 p.m. Saturday at the Rosemont (Ill.) Horizon in a Great Midwest Conference game. On Jan. 22, SLU will play at league-favorite Marquette.

The Billikens have seemed miffed that doubt about their talent remains. There is no escaping the fact that they have one big thing to prove. SLU has a 0-10 road record in the two-season history of the conference.

"In league play, you have to win the home games you can and try to steal some on the road," SLU coach Charlie Spoonhour said. "We had a good test in going to Arizona, where it was warm. Now we'll see how we do where it's a little chilly."

The Billikens defeated Arizona State in a neutral-site game Saturday. That might not bear much resemblance to trying to win in a Great Midwest building, where most of the several thousand fans will be haters instead of SLU lovers.

"I heard someone say you've got to win by 10 points on the road to win by one," Highmark said. "We've really fed off the energy of our crowds at home. Now, we have to go out and create our own energy."

It won't just be the size of the opponents' crowds at DePaul and Marquette that could give SLU fits. It might be the size of the opponents.

DePaul has five players who stand at least 6 feet 7. Marquette's starting five includes 7-1 Jim McIlvaine, 6-8 Damon Key and 6-8 Roney Eford.

SLU's tallest player is 6-8 Evan Pedersen, who plays more comfortably on the wings. David Robinson (6-6) and Donnie Dobbs (6-3) have provided the team's inside strength. …

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