PLAYA DEL CARMEN, Mexico – Saint Louis erased a 15-point second-half deficit and made it a game late, but No. 10 Wisconsin held on for a 63-57 victory against the Billikens Tuesday in the Cancun Challenge at the Hard Rock Resort.
It was the first loss of the season for Saint Louis, which dips to 5-1 overall. Wisconsin improves to 7-0.
Saint Louis faces Old Dominion in the third-place game of the Cancun Challenge on Wednesday at 6 p.m. (CT). The game will be televised on CBS Sports Network. Earlier this evening, ODU (4-2) fell 78-60 against West Virginia.
Against Wisconsin, senior forward Rob Loe dropped a team-high 15 points, while sophomore guard Austin McBroom scored 14. Senior forward Dwayne Evans scored 12 points, all in the second half, and pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.
SLU shot a season-low 32.8 percent (21-64) from the floor. Meanwhile, Wisconsin hit 46.7 percent (21-45) from the floor and was able to overcome dismal shooting from the charity stripe (17-30, 56.7 percent).
The Billikens trailed by eight at halftime and saw their deficit grow to 15 after Wisconsin’s Traevon Jackson nailed a trey to make it 40-25 Badgers with 16:14 to go.
Evans would score the Billikens’ next six points to help keep the Badger lead manageable. A Loe 3-pointer at the 10:53 mark cut Wisconsin’s advantage to 10 at 44-34.
Wisconsin was unable to put away the Billikens, as SLU had an answer for all of the Badgers’ buckets.
It was with three minutes remaining that SLU put together a rally. Low converted a 3-point play, and McBroom followed later with a layup to make it 56-51 with 1:42 left.
But that is as close to the lead as the Bills would get. Wisconsin went up 10 in the final minute before McBroom and Loe hit 3-pointers with less than 20 seconds remaining to keep it close. SLU out-scored the Badgers 34-32 in the second half but still suffered the defeat.