Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slu Cruises, Exhibits Little in 89-66 Exhibition Win

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Slu Cruises, Exhibits Little in 89-66 Exhibition Win

Article excerpt

On a sedate Monday night in the city, 8,101 folks dropped by Kiel Center to warm their tootsies and watch the St. Louis University basketball team stretch its legs.

SLU's 89-66 exhibition victory over an occasionally competitive Samara team from the Russian "Super League" wasn't exactly 40 minutes of excitement.

Some of the Billikens' intrasquad scrimmages at West Pine Gym look nastier and more entertaining.

"It was another night," SLU coach Charlie Spoonhour said. "We got it out of the way. . . . It was not very pretty.

"I think we're looking forward to playing the Bradley game (Sunday) with a lot of enthusiasm. We didn't do anything to inspire tonight's crowd, and they didn't inspire us.

"It was a standoff."

The Billikens have to hope that the time for getting reacquainted is in the past. After winning both their exhibitions, they will face Bradley in their season opener at 2:05 p.m. Sunday at Kiel.

"We wanted to come out and play well," senior H Waldman said. "But it just wasn't a game that counted, so it doesn't really matter that much."

Not that Monday's effort embarrassed the Billikens. Erwin Claggett hit eight of his 10 shots from the field - including five of six from 3-point range - and finished with 25 points; he also had eight assists and three steals. Scott Highmark scored 17 points. Donnie Campbell flashed some solid inside work with 15 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes.

Early on, Highmark drove and dished off deftly to Campbell, who finished it off with a dunk. SLU revealed a few glimpses of the play that packed The Arena last season, the promise fans have taken to heart - fewer than 4,000 seats remain for Sunday's game. Kiel Center seats 20,000 for basketball.

Highmark also missed successive free throws later in the game and then quickly was called for traveling with the rebound. The Billikens won't expect such rarities once the games mean something.

"It'll do us good," Spoonhour said, "to play somebody good."

The Bills could have had more fun with the clearly inferior Russians. Samara connected on more than half its shots. After dashing to a 9-0 lead, SLU led just 28-20 before a strong flurry in the final seven minutes of the first half. …

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