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The only thing I knew about St. Louis University athletics when I woke up this morning was something I learned while researching Fighting Like Cats and Dogs; namely, former Clemson head football coach Eddie Cochems left Fort Hill after a single season to take over the SLU program, and, on September 5, 1906, Coach Cochems’s Billikens threw the first legal forward pass in college football history in a game against Carroll College.
That is neither here nor there, really, but it sure beats telling you about the early portion of Saturday night’s Georgia-St. Louis basketball tilt. Mark Fox’s Hoop Dogs once again got off to a slow start on the road, but they closed the gap late before tying it up inside the final 90 seconds. The Red and Black finally grabbed the lead in the last minute of the contest and held on to card a harrowing 61-59 victory.
All told, the Bulldogs sank 38 of their 68 shots, going 23 of 44 (52.3%) from the field, three of six (50.0%) from beyond the arc, and 12 of 18 (66.7%) from the free throw line. The Billikens made 62.5 per cent of their one-point shots (10 of 16), 45.5 per cent of their two-point shots (20 of 44), and 52.9 per cent of their three-point shots (9 of 17). Although both teams turned the ball over 17 times, Georgia transformed those takeaways into 16 points, whereas St. Louis notched only ten. The home team’s bench contributed 17 points to the six added by the visitors’ reserves.
Travis Leslie, Connor Nolte, Jeremy Price, Gerald Robinson, and Dustin Ware each spent at least 30 minutes on the court, with Leslie and Price grabbing six and seven rebounds, respectively. Over the course of the evening, the Fox Hounds out-rebounded their hosts 30-23 en route to a stirring last-second triumph. All those close losses on the road last year tempered this team, which has bought into what its head coach is selling, enabling the squad to cross that fine line separating narrow defeats from narrow victories. A year ago, Mark Fox put the excitement back into Georgia basketball; it’s early, but, so far this year, he has turned his band of lovable losers into a unit that finds a way to win.