Brooklyn, NY – Not even 11 free-throw attempts over the final five seconds would have bailed out Charlotte Friday.
Dwayne Evans had 25 points and nine rebounds in No. 16 Saint Louis' 72-55 rout of the 49ers in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic 10 Tournament.
Evans was nearly perfect. He was 8-of-9 from the field and 9-of-9 from the foul line. Cody Ellis added 13 points, but was just 3-of-13 from the floor and 1-of-7 from beyond the arc for the Billikens (25-6), who have won 13 of their last 14 games.
"He's their best post player, and you wouldn't say that for a 6-6 guy on most teams," 49ers head coach Alan Major said.
Saint Louis will play Butler in Saturday's semifinals.
Charlotte (21-11) was trailing, 63-60, in the closing seconds of its first- round matchup with Richmond. After the Spiders elected to foul to try to prevent the 49ers from connecting on a game-tying 3-pointer, madness ensued. Thanks to a trio of technicals called on the Spiders, Pierria Henry hit eight of his 11 foul shots on Charlotte's final possession to lift the 49ers to a 68-63 win.
Chris Braswell tallied 20 points and 10 rebounds Friday in defeat.
The Billikens raced out to a 17-8 start and never looked back.
After consecutive 3-pointers by Ivan Benkovic and Braswell cut the deficit to 19-16 midway through the opening half, Saint Louis countered with a 13-0 run to regain control.
Mike McCall had seven points during the surge, which was capped on a Rob Loe triple for a 32-16 Saint Louis advantage. At that point, the Billikens netted 16 points off 11 Charlotte turnovers.
The Billikens took a 39-28 advantage into the break and led by as many as 18 over the final 20 minutes.
"I think we got the win kind of like we usually do," Saint Louis interim head coach Jim Crews said. "We get a little from the defense, a little inside."
Crews, filling in for the late Rick Majerus, led his squad to their first outright regular-season conference title since capturing the Missouri Valley Conference in 1956-57 ... Saint Louis shot just 37.5 percent (21-of-56) but forced 20 turnovers while giving the ball away just 10 times ... The Billikens also outscored the 49ers 25-12 at the free throw line.