ST. LOUIS–The Saint Louis University Billikens’ men’s basketball program ended the 2020-2021 home schedule Monday night with a resounding win over UMASS, 78-57 at Chaifetz Arena.
Javonte Perkins led the Billikens in scoring with 16 on what would have been his senior night, had he not announced over the weekend that he’d take advantage of the extra year of eligibility granted to student-athletes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Jordan Goodwin finished with 13 points and 11 rebounds and Hasahn French added 12 and 6 to end their home careers at Chaifetz Arena. The Bills (13-5) have clinched fourth place in the Atlantic 10 and a double-bye heading into the postseason tournament starting Wednesday in Richmond. SLU will most likely have to win the tournament to clinch the conference’s automatic berth to the NCAA tournament, after losing two games last week against Dayton and VCU.
“We gave to take the good, the bad, learn from everything, try to be our best right now,” Head Coach Travis Ford said after the game.
“We’ve all been through a lot together,” Ford said of the departing duo of French and Goodwin. “They’re like sons, they really are. We talk all the time. It’s a special relationship.”
French said the idea that this was his last game to “make a mark” at Chaifetz went through his mind leading up to the game and that it was an emotional moment when he was substituted out in the game’s closing moments.
Goodwin said the last 24 hours had hit him about the end of his home career, with the realization that the next game could be his last.
With the pandemic having canceled last year’s A10 tourney, Goodwin said he wants to “reclaim the throne” the Billikens won when they surprised to win the 2019 tourney.
Senior Joshua Hightower, a former Billikens manager who has played as a walk-on, was also recognized Monday night.
The Billikens will next play Friday at noon in the A10 tournament.