St. Louis 85, Kent State 74
ST. LOUIS (AP) _ Anthony Bonner became St. Louis University’s career scoring leader with 31 points and pulled down 13 rebounds in leading the Billikens to an 85-74 victory over Kent State in an opening-round NIT game Friday night.
Charles Newberry added 16 points and 10 assists and Jeff Luechtefeld scored a career-high 15 points for the Billikens (18-11). Jorge Wallace added 13 points. Ric Blevins had 24 points for Kent State (21-8), followed by Tony Banks with 19 and Harold Walton with 18.
Bonner, the leading rebounder in NCAA Division I, scored 19 points in the first half as the Billikens took a 47-40 lead. His 1,901 career points erased Roland Gray’s mark of 1,877 points set last season.
St. Louis, which lost to St. John’s in the NIT championship game last season, will host Wisconsin-Green Bay in a second-round game Tuesday night.
St. Louis never trailed. Two free throws by Banks pulled Kent State to 59-56 with 8:20 remaining but St. Louis scored nine straight points in the next 3 1/2 minutes. The Golden Flashes got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
St. Louis opened a 14-2 lead in the first 4 1/2 minutes with Bonner scoring eight points. Kent State battled back to tie the score 36-36 on a basket by Blevins with 4:10 left in the half.
Bonner, a 6-foot-8 senior, then sparked an 11-4 run with five points as St. Louis moved ahead 47-40.