Dwayne Evans had 22 points and 12 boards -- including several key offensive rebounds down the stretch -- to ensure St. Louis wouldn't fall victim to a spirited George Washington team that might not even make the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
The Billikens got up eight early, as Jordair Jett had nine in the first half, and Cody Ellis drilled a pair of threes. But the Colonials always remained within arm's length, with six players scoring the team's first seven baskets before Kevin Larsen got going, finishing with 10 points in the first half. All that allowed George Washington to head into the break down just six.
George Washington came out of the locker room raring to go. They went on a 16-9 run to jump out in front, with the lead see-sawing back and forth six times as the game wound down. The only thing keeping the Billikens in the game for a while was Kwamain Mitchell, who scored the team's first nine points of the second half.
After trailing by three, St. Louis got their act together. A string of possessions extended by Dwayne Evans offensive rebounds allowed the Billikens to score 10 straight to go up by seven. From there, St. Louis was able to make it to the finish line with the win.
The Atlantic 10 schedule is a little bit of a crapshoot with 16 teams in the conference: if you get lucky enough to play some of the bigger names at home instead of on the road, you get the opportunity to get an upset -- even if you're a middle-of-the-pack squad like George Washington, who lost their third straight to fall to 6-8 in conference. The Colonials got close against Butler, holding the then-No. 20 Bulldogs without a basket for the final seven minutes of game time as they rallied back from down 17 to lose by only three. They had another ranked team on the ropes Saturday, but once again it wasn't enough. With the upset bid dead, they'll need good performances in their last two regular-season games to even make the 12-team A-10 tournament -- they currently sit at 12th in the standings.
As for St. Louis, they'll remain in the rankings for a second straight week. They've won 12 in a row, and if it wasn't for back-to-back losses to Rhode Island and Temple, they'd be running the table in conference play.
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