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Sycamores Fall 83-66 at Saint Louis

ST. LOUIS -- In the final road non-conference contest of the season, Indiana State dropped an 83-66 decision at Saint Louis in front of 7,205 fans inside Chaifetz Arena. The Sycamores had their four-game winning streak snapped and fell to 7-3 while Saint Louis improved to 10-2. Indiana State was led in scoring by 16 points from Manny Arop, who went 7-of-12 from the field while Justin Gant and Khristian Smith each poured in 12. ISU hit 24-of-50 shots from the field (48.0 percent) against one of the toughest defenses in the NCAA. The Sycamores hit 14-of-26 shots in the second half (53.8 percent). Saint Louis owned a 34-22 edge in rebounding, which netted a 15-4 advantage for the Billikens in second-chance points. Jake Odum hit three free throws in the contest to give him 460 for his career and ties him with John Sherman Williams for second-most in the history of the program. Odum is now just 83 made free throws behind Larry Bird for the school record. He now has 1,249 career points and moved into 16th on the Sycamore scoring charts. The Sycamores were whistled for 29 fouls in the contest as compared to 21 on Saint Louis. SLU hit 27-of-34 from the charity stripe (79.4 percent) while ISU was 15-of-21 (71.4 percent). Manny Arop led off the scoring in the contest with a long jumper just under a minute into things to take a 2-0 lead. Saint Louis went on to score the next eight points before Demetrius Moore and Khristian Smith scored consecutively to get the Sycamores within 8-5 at the 15:34 mark. A lay-up by Dwayne Evans staked the Billikens to a 23-12 lead with 8:33 on the clock before Justin Gant sparked a 7-0 spurt for the Sycamores which was capped with an Arop trey with 6:23 remaining to draw Indiana State within 23-19. Arop continued his strong offensive performance with a conventional 3-point play at the 5:55 mark to draw the Sycamores within 24-22. With 4:24 on the clock, Khristian Smith drained a jumper to cut the Billiken cushion down to just two points after a SLU charity toss, a steal and conventional 3-point play from Jake Odum with 2:07 left in the opening half knotted the score at 27. Saint Louis finished the first half on a 7-0 run and Smith's last second heave from near mid-court bounced off the back of the iron and the Sycamores found themselves down 34-27 at the break. Arop led Indiana State with 12 pts in the first half. Gant scored first for the Sycamores in the second half to cut the Saint Louis lead down to 34-29. After a Cummings jumper at the 19:11 mark, the Billikens rattled off four points in a row to take a 40-31 lead and forced a Sycamore timeout. Gant and Devonte Brown then each converted conventional 3-point plays with 15:30 remaining to draw Indiana State within 43-39. A pair of Saint Louis 3-pointers got the Billiken advantage back out to 10 points but Khristian Smith stopped the bleeding with a conventional 3-point play with just over 13 minutes remaining to get within 49-42. Arop made it five consecutive points for the Sycamores on the next possession to get within 49-44. Saint Louis would go on to take a 64-51 lead with 6:19 remaining in the contest before Odum converted a conventional 3-point play in transition to get the Sycamores within 64-54 with just over six minutes to go. Smith would go on to answer a 5-0 Billiken run with a triple from the left corner to get back to within 69-57 with five minutes left on the clock. Odum converted a driving lay-up with 3:28 on the clock to get the Sycamores within 74-60. Dwayne Evans scored 24 points to lead Saint Louis, on the strength of a 16-of-20 performance from the free throw line. Four different Billikens reached double figures scoring. Indiana State returns home to Hulman Center on Saturday, December 21 when the Sycamores face off against IUPUI at 3:35 p.m. (ET).
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