KINGSTON, R.I. -- Jordair Jett poured in a career-high 31 points, but St. Louis had to sweat out a pair of his missed free throws with 1 second remaining to edge past Rhode Island in a conference opener Tuesday night.
The Billikens (14-2, 1-0 Atlantic 10) are riding an eight-game winning streak and beat Rhode Island (9-7, 0-1) for the first time in five tries.
Jett hadn't scored more than 17 this season, 19 career, but went off on 10-of-18 field-goal shooting, 2-for-2 on 3-pointers. He extended an early lead to 33-21 after halftime. The Rams battled into a tie at 41 and the last 10 minutes were a tug-of-war with five ties and five lead changes.
Xavier Munford, 16 points, put Rhode Island up 58-57 with 17 seconds remaining. Jett sank a pair at 7 seconds, but missed twice from the line at 1 second. Rhode Island called time but couldn't score.