The No. 12 Kansas Jayhawks will play the St. Louis Billikens in the Championship game of the Edward Jones CBE Hall of Fame Classic. The Billikens enter with a record of 2-1 after beating Texas A&M 70-49 in their semifinal game.
Both Kansas and St. Louis had huge success in their respective semifinal games. Kansas bounced back after a “shaky” game against Chattanooga while St. Louis used turnovers to defeat Texas A&M.
St. Louis is a member of the Atlantic 10 conference and finished second in the conference last year. Their overall record last season was 26-8.
So far this season, St. Louis’ leading scorer is Dwayne Evans. The junior out of Bolingbrook, Illinois is averaging 15 points per game. However, Evans is a duel threat for the Billikens as he is also their leading rebounder with eight rebounds per game. In their semifinal game against Texas A&M, he recorded 21 points (tied career-high) and four rebounds (season-low).
Two players that showed that they can help the Billikens on the boards were Cody Ellis and Jake Barnett. Both players came off the bench as Ellis recorded a team-high seven rebounds while Barnett recorded six. St. Louis out-rebounded Texas A&M 30-22.
This will be the sixteenth meeting between the Jayhawks and the Billikens. Kansas currently leads the series 12-3.
Kansas last met the Billikens in 1999 and won 71-60. Kansas’ biggest streak in this series was eight wins from 1967-83.
Overall, this game will come down to two aspects. These aspects are points in the paint and points off turnovers.
First, the Billikens out scored the Aggies 32-24 in the paint. Jeff Withey will need to throw his own “block party in the paint” if Kansas wants to keep St. Louis at bay. Second, St. Louis had 29 points off turnovers compared to Texas A&M’s nine points. Kansas will need to limit their turnovers so the Billikens cannot get any easy buckets.
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