Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLU Falls Short in Upset Bid at GW; Yarbrough's Career High Not Enough for St. Louis U; College Basketball: GEORGE WASHINGTON 75, SLU 72

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

SLU Falls Short in Upset Bid at GW; Yarbrough's Career High Not Enough for St. Louis U; College Basketball: GEORGE WASHINGTON 75, SLU 72

Article excerpt

WASHINGTON * Something clicked for Milik Yarbrough on Tuesday night, and it pushed George Washington, one of the early contenders in the Atlantic 10, to the brink of something unexpected.

St. Louis University's freshman forward started with a soaring dunk and finished with a 3-pointer that gave the Billikens a chance to force overtime at the Smith Center before falling 75-72.

He finished with another career high, this time 26 points, as SLU played its best offensive game before falling victim to some of the same problems that have plagued the team all season.

George Washington broke a late tie by scoring seven consecutive points, and the Billikens then squandered a chance to force overtime on their final possession when a desperation shot by Mike Crawford at the buzzer was blocked.

"The kids had a good fight and spirit about themselves," coach Jim Crews said. "We still made plenty of mistakes, but I thought they really improved. We want to win when we're improving, but they got better. If you keep doing the right things, good things happen."

The Billikens (8-7, 0-2 in the A-10) led by as many as 12 points, and they shot 55 percent. But the Colonials (12-3, 2-0) outscored SLU 23-5 at the free-throw line and had 27 more attempts.

Yarbrough was the biggest reason SLU had George Washington on the ropes. He made 11 of 18 shots from all spots on the floor and took charge at some points after opening with an impressive dunk off a feed from Davell Roby.

"I came out and Roby hit me for a dunk and that really sparked me," Yarbrough said. "I just felt comfortable. They kept switching and putting different people on me. They put a guard on me and I moved into the post. They put a big on me and I stepped out. It was really hard for them to guard me so I took advantage of every play Coach wrote up for me."

But he couldn't save the Billikens from foul trouble. Roby fouled out after playing his best game to date with 14 points as he made four of five 3-pointers and had five rebounds.

Freshman Marcus Bartley picked up his third and fourth fouls early in the second half after making the start in place of Austin McBroom, and Crawford finished with four. The Billikens were called for 26 fouls to George Washington's 14, and Crews was hit with his first technical foul.

Asked about the differential, Crews wouldn't bite.

"I flunked math, so I won't get into that," he said.

The Billikens stayed in the game despite getting only six points from McBroom, the team's leading scorer on the season. And Ash Yacoubou didn't score until late in the game.

Roby gave the offense a boost as he welcomed the open 3-pointers after passing on many in the first 14 games.

"I knew going into the game Austin wasn't starting, and Coach told me I had to be a little more aggressive," he said. "He's been telling me all year to be more aggressive. My teammates want me to shoot. I came out and told myself to be aggressive."

The Billikens scored the first four points of the second half to build their biggest lead at 44-32. …

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