Mike McCall Jr.ís Tip-in Wins it for Billikens
VALPARAISO, Ind. – Saint Louis senior guard Mike McCall Jr.’s tip-in at the buzzer lifted Saint Louis to a thrilling 67-65 victory at Valparaiso Saturday night at the Athletic Recreation Center on the Valpo campus.
With the win, Saint Louis improves to 8-2, while Valpo dips to 6-5.
The Billikens led throughout until Valpo hit a layup with 3.8 seconds remaining to tie it up. Senior forward Rob Loe drove the hole and put up a shot that was blocked. SLU crashed the boards, and it was McCall who put it back. After the official confirmed the basket at the monitor, the SLU sideline erupted as the Billikens came away with the two-point road victory.
Senior forward Dwayne Evans, who fed Loe on the final inbounds play, recorded a double-double with 21 points and 10 rebounds. He was 6-of-15 from the field and 9-of-12 from the charity stripe. He hit several key free throws down the stretch to keep the Billikens ahead.
Senior guard Jordair Jett scored 10 points and dished out a career-high nine assists. Junior forward Grandy Glaze had 14 points and five boards for the Billikens.
SLU utilized an 11-0 run to take command early on, going on top 15-3 five minutes into the contest. Valpo responded with a 10-0 run to make it a two-point game with 10 minutes remaining.
Saint Louis would get its lead back to double-digits with less than four minutes left in the half, and the Billikens had a nine-point advantage (39-30) at intermission.
The Billikens built an 11-point second-half lead at 53-42 with 11:35 left, but SLU was unable to put the game away.
Valpo pulled within four with 3:10 left. Noone would score again until there was 29 seconds left when the Crusaders’ Jordan Coleman hit a pair of free throws to pull Valpo within two.
Evans hit two clutch free throws several seconds later, but Valpo’s Alex Peters hit a three on the other end to bring Valpo within one.
Evans hit 1-of-2 free throws with 14 seconds left, setting up a late opportunity for Valpo to tie it up. Leading scorer LaVonte Dority hit a runner to tie the score. After review, the officials put 3.8 seconds back on the clock to set up the Billikens’ last-second heroics.