Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou, Slu Are Road Kill Billikens Struggle at Bradley

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Mizzou, Slu Are Road Kill Billikens Struggle at Bradley

Article excerpt

Without Jamal Johnson's incredible leap, St. Louis University's basketball team will have to brawl for every point under the basket.

Without Corey Frazier stabbing one long-range jumper after another, the Billikens will pant aimlessly in search of a way to score from 3-point distance.

But if the Billikens fail defensively, they have no chance.

So the Bradley Braves taught young SLU a lesson in a 78-68 victory Tuesday night at Carver Arena. Johnson played only 24 minutes because of foul trouble, Frazier missed nine of 12 shots, and the meandering Billikens lost their defensive grip.

"We're just in a funk right now," SLU junior Jeff Harris said. "We have to find a way out. . . . We've got a long way to go."

Harris had a career-high 26 points and 13 rebounds. But Anthony Parker's 19 points led four Braves in double figures. They put the Bills down early and thwarted every attempt to make it a game.

"I'm excited that we played with experience and played like veterans," Bradley coach Jim Molinari said.

The Bills find the trudge longer and decidedly steeper when most of their offense is in cold storage. Johnson scored 31 points in their season-opening victory over Louisiana State. But he has a total of 33 points and 15 points in the three games hence - including 11 points and four rebounds Tuesday. The 6-foot-7 senior picked up his fourth foul 11 seconds into the second half and fouled out with about 3 minutes remaining.

That left SLU (2-2) to make extensive use of a largely inexperienced bench in front of a boisterous crowd of 8,908. And against a Bradley team filled with experience. The Braves (2-2) hinted why they will be a prime contender once the Missouri Valley Conference season begins.

"This is not a shocker," SLU coach Charlie Spoonhour said. "We should have done some things better. Of course, then maybe they would have done some other things better. …

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