SAINT LOUIS – The North Carolina A&T men’s basketball team fell 79-57 to Saint Louis, Saturday evening at Chaifetz Arena in a non-conference matchup.
With the loss the Aggies fell to 3-9 overall and the Billikens notched their fifth straight win, improving to 11-3. Senior Lamont Middleton led A&T with 18 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Senior Richaud Pack added 11 points and five rebounds to tab his 12th consecutive game scoring in double-figures. Sophomore Bruce Beckford recorded 10 points and paced the Aggies with seven rebounds.
“We got beat by a really good team today,” head coach Cy Alexander said. “Saint Louis went to the NCAA tournament last year and returned everyone back from that team and they’re going to do very well in the Atlantic 10. This has been a grueling road trip for us. I thought we defended relatively well in the first half but they stepped up their execution level in the second half.”
A&T found it difficult to connect on some of its shots as Saint Louis leads the Atlantic 10 and is ranked fifth in the nation in scoring defense. SLU has held its opponents to an average of 58.5 points per game and Saturday was no different.
SLU maintained an early advantage throughout the first half and took its first double-digit lead, 28-18, at the 7:14 mark. The Aggies countered with a 6-1 run to cut their deficit to 29-24 with 2:33 remaining. Saint Louis ended the half on a 7-2 run to take the 36-26 lead at halftime.
The Billikens controlled the second half and put together a 21-8 run with 13:21 remaining to stretch its lead to 57-34. Pack responded by draining the Aggies only three just moments later.
A pair of free throws from Middleton sliced SLU’s lead to 59-42, but Saint Louis pushed its lead back to 20 when it hit a 3-pointer with 8:44 left to play.
The Billikens placed four players in double-digits led by Dwayne Evans with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Mike McCall Jr., finished with 13 points while Rob Loe finished with 12 points and four blocks. McBroom rounded out the scoring for SLU with 10.
A&T will take a few days off before it returns back to Corbett Sports Center where it will host Georgia Southern on Saturday, Dec. 28 at 2 p.m.