St. Louis University has embarked on a new streak, and as much as the Billikens didn’t want to dwell too much on their 19-game winning streak while it was going on, they’ll probably want to think about the current one even less.

The 10th-ranked Billikens, destined to drop when the next polls come out on Monday, lost their second straight game, losing to Virginia Commonwealth 67-56 at a sold-out Siegel Center. The game was largely settled in the first half, when SLU got eaten up on the offensive boards, where VCU got 11 rebounds, and handling the ball, as SLU committed nine turnovers. The Billikens shot better than VCU in the game, but the possessions they gave away and the extra chances they gave VCU did them in.

“We’ve got to forget about these two losses and bounce back,” guard Austin McBroom said. “We’ve got to go back to the basics, look over the film, get back in the gym and work on what we need to work on.”

“We’ve just got to tighten things up,” said guard Jordair Jett, who finished with 18 points. “Fix the little things that we’re not doing during the game. It’s part of the game. You can’t win every game.”

As much as the loss to Duquesne on Thursday shocked people, this loss was easier to see coming. The win was the 19th straight at home for VCU (22-7, 10-4), and it was the 49th straight sellout at the Siegel Center. About 40 VCU students started camping out on Friday morning for the game, and the building is easily the noisiest in the league.

The loss delays SLU clinching a piece of the Atlantic 10 title and the No. 1 seed in the A-10 tournament. SLU (25-4, 12-2), which will be no worse than the No. 2 seed, still needs either a win or a loss by St. Joseph’s to secure its second straight league title. SLU has one more home game, on Wednesday against Dayton, and then finishes up next Sunday at UMass.

Though SLU outshot VCU, 42.9 percent to 38.7 percent, VCU made up for it in volume, taking 62 shots to SLU’s 49 thanks to a total of 16 offensive rebounds and 17 SLU turnovers. Dwayne Evans, playing the second half with a painful hip after he fell on it late in the first half, made just two of 11 shots for four points. Rob Loe had nine rebounds but six turnovers. SLU had nine turnovers in the first half, and too many of them weren’t the result of VCU’s defensive pressure but of just dropping the ball. What SLU needed the most may have been a rosin bag.

“We were just careless with the ball,” said McBroom, who had 11 points. “Instead of being ball strong, we were careless.”

“It was like unforced errors in tennis,” SLU coach Jim Crews said.

If there’s one thing to focus on as SLU tries to do the next right thing, it will be offensive rebounding. VCU had 11 in the first half, which it turned into 13 points. That by itself made the difference in the game. That comes on the heels of Duquesne having 13 offensive rebounds and George Washington getting 17.

“We just weren’t rebounding,” said Jett. “That’s it. There’s nothing that’s not working. We just weren’t rebounding.”

“They were penetrating and we were rotating over,” Crews said. “They had their big guys coming from 17, 18 feet, they’re going at a full run. They’re long armed and athletic. That’s definitely a problem.”

That SLU was still in the game late in the second half was a credit to its defense. VCU coach Shaka Smart observed that this was not the kind of game that you sell online as an offensive instructional tape. VCU’s shooting percentage was just fractionally better than what it did against SLU in St. Louis, where it shot 38.5 percent. But they scored five more points and won by 11 compared to losing by two at Chaifetz.

SLU held VCU to 34.6 percent shooting in the second half, but had its own offensive struggles to keep it from getting closer. SLU, which trailed by 15 in the first half and by 10 at halftime, never got closer than eight in the second half. VCU made just two of its first 13 shots in the second half, but SLU wasn’t doing much better, making just two of its first 12.