Javonte Perkins poured in 32 points to lead the St. Louis Billikens past the visiting Louisiana State Tigers 85-81 Saturday afternoon.
Gibson Jimerson added 16 points and Jordan Goodwin scored 11 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Billikens (2-0).
The Tigers (1-1) got 25 points from Cameron Thomas, 24 from Trendon Watford and 18 from Javonte Smart in the final game of the Billiken Classic multi-team event at Chaifetz Arena.
This matchup featured two NCAA Tournament contenders. LSU was picked third in the preseason Southeastern Conference poll while Saint Louis was selected second in the Atlantic 10
But the Billikens played without center Hasahn French, a preseason second-team All-A10 selection. He remained sidelined with a concussion suffered during a preseason practice.
Smart scored 13 of LSU's first 19 points as the Tigers moved out to an early 21-16 lead. The Billikens missed their first nine tries from three-point range but survived the cold shooting start by retrieving five early offensive rebounds.
Saint Louis finally got rolling when guards Jimerson and Demarius Jacobs started knocking down shots. Those two combined for 12 points as a 16-2 surge put the Billikens up 32-23.
The Billikens used their 17-0 edge in bench scoring to secure their 38-28 halftime lead. Jacobs scored 11 points of those points and didn't miss a shot.
After LSU scored the first six points of the second half, the Billikens went on a 14-6 run to build a 12-point lead. Jimerson and Perkins each hit two three-pointers during that surge.
The Billikens ran into foul trouble that forced Goodwin and point guard Yuri Collins to miss critical minutes. LSU took advantage with a second-half rally.
Thomas delivered a personal 7-2 run to cut the Billikens lead to 65-60. First he converted a four-point play, the he hit another three-point shot on the next LSU possession.
Thomas and Perkins traded baskets down the stretch. In the end, Perkins went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line in the final 17.5 seconds to secure the victory for the Billikens.
--Field Level Media