PORTLAND — Oregon State plays St. Louis on Saturday night in the Dam City Classic at Moda Center. Here’s a look at the Billkens.
St. Louis is 5-5 after Tuesday's 69-55 home win against Murray State. The Billikens trailed 16-3 early, took their first lead in the opening minutes of the second half and then pulled away for the victory.
Javon Bess had 20 points (including 9 of 10 at the free-throw line), six rebounds and five steals to lead the Billikens. Hasahn French added 16 points, nine rebounds and four blocks, and Jalen Johnson had 10 points and 14 rebounds.
Bess, a 6-foot-6 junior wing who played his first two years at Michigan State before sitting out last season due to the transfer rule, averages 15 points and 6.1 rebounds.
Jordan Goodwin, a 6-3 freshman guard, averages 9.6 points, 6.8 rebounds and 4.3 assists and 6-4 senior guard Davell Roby 9.5 points.
As a team, St. Louis shoots 39.7 percent from the floor (and allows 42.8), 27.6 percent on 3-pointers (to 37.0 for its opponents) and 67.5 percent at the foul line (opponents shoot 76.4).
Last season, the Billikens were 12-21 overall, 6-12 in Atlantic-10 Conference play. Roby was the team’s leading scorer at 11.7 points per game.
Travis Ford is in his second year as the St. Louis head coach and 20th overall.
His previous stops include Campbellsville, Eastern Kentucky, Massachusetts and Oklahoma State. He guided Oklahoma State to five NCAA tournament appearances in eight years.
Ford began his playing career at Missouri and then played three seasons at Kentucky, helping the Wildcats to three NCAA tournaments, including the 1993 Final Four.