With 6 minutes, 56 seconds to go in the first half Wednesday, St. Louis University was up by three when guard Jordair Jett picked up his second foul and joined forward Rob Loe on the bench. Less than two minutes later, guard Mike McCall picked up his second foul, leaving three of SLU’s starters on the bench.

At which point 13th-ranked SLU went and broke the game open. With a lineup that included center John Manning and freshman guard Mike Crawford, two players who probably didn’t figure prominently in St. Joseph’s scouting report, SLU outscored St. Joseph’s 10-2 in the final 5 minutes of the first half and went on to win 65-49 for a school-record 15th consecutive win.

The wins keep coming, and in sometimes unexpected ways. It’s turning into business as usual for the Billikens, who don’t seem too impressed by their streak, which is now one more than the 1993-94 and 1958-59 teams had done.

“It feels good, but we’ve got to get on to the next game now,” said guard Austin McBroom, who got four of his nine points in the closing minutes of the first half. “Coach (Jim Crews) always talks about ignoring the noise. Keep moving on, move on to the next game.”

With all the focus on SLU’s five starters and its experience, the team showed the next wave of players can get the job done, too.

“I was really impressed with their bench guys,” St. Joseph’s coach Phil Martelli said. “Their bench guys did a terrific job. They have balance. They played like older guys and they played more confidently than we did.”

“One of the big things Coach says is, always be ready,” McBroom said. “He says, whether you play a minute or 30 minutes, you never know when your butt’s going to be in the sunshine.”

The sunshine is finding every part of the Billikens now, and the numbers surrounding SLU continue to swell. SLU is 21-2, the best record ever for the program after 23 games. SLU is 8-0 in the Atlantic 10, the school’s best start in league play since the 1951-52 team started 8-0. SLU is 8-0 on the road this season as well, one shy of the 9-0 road mark posted by the 1955-56 team.

On the single-game level, SLU also had some dazzling numbers Wednesday. St. Joseph’s came into the game shooting 39.5 percent on 3-pointers, the best percentage in the league, and was averaging over seven a game. Against SLU, the Hawks made just one of 15 3-point tries and went 0 for nine in the second half, which is going to put a damper on any comeback attempt. The Hawks (15-7, 5-3), who were the second-hottest team in the league after beating UMass last week, committed 17 turnovers, which SLU converted into 17 points. For the game, St. Joseph’s shot 31.9 percent, the sixth SLU opponent in the past eight games to shoot 40 percent or less from the field.

“Our guards did a great job of denying the ball,” Loe said. “When they did get off a shot, the hand was up and they had a tough look.”

SLU’s offense continues to show progress too, as the team shot 44 percent from the field, 46 percent on 3’s. Loe led the team with 17 points, with three 3-point shots, and Jett had 10 points, seven assists and three rebounds.

“We played extremely well defensively and we did well offensively too,” said Crews, who thought it was one of the team’s best defensive efforts of the season. “It wasn’t just defense.”

SLU led 25-20 when McCall went out, leaving Dwayne Evans, Jake Barnett, Manning, Crawford and McBroom on the court. Evans and McBroom drove to score, Manning hit an 18-footer, Evans made a steal and McBroom finished with a layup and Evans scored again off a pass from Barnett to put SLU up by 15.

“The bench really stepped up and we pulled away,” said Loe. “We got some stops in a row, got a few buckets. They did a great job. When you can rely on people like that — we have eight or nine or 10 or 11 that can all play — it’s something that really helps this team. Anyone can step up on any given night.”