Loe, Jett Lead Billikens to Comeback Victory, 83-80
ORLANDO, Fla. – Rob Loe scored 22 points and collected a game- and career-high 15 rebounds, and Jordair Jett scored 17 of his 18 points in the second half to lead Midwest Region No. 5 seed Saint Louis to an 83-80 overtime victory over No. 12 seed North Carolina State in an NCAA Tournament second-round game Thursday night at the Amway Center.
The Billikens (27-6) advance to play either No. 4 seed Louisville, the defending national champion, or No. 13 seed Manhattan Saturday in a third-round game. Tip time and TV information are yet to be determined.
SLU trailed 55-39 after N.C. State’s T.J. Warren, who scored a game-high 28 points, turned an offensive rebound into a layup with 8:13 remaining.
Jett scored nine points and Dwayne Evans tallied five in a 16-6 run that made it a two-possession game, 61-55, with 2:16 to play. Jett triggered the run with a baseline jumper, and he and Mike McCall Jr. followed with steals and layups.
Later, Evans made a layup, and Jett gathered his own miss and converted. Jett grabbed a missed free throw and turned it into a three-point play, and Evans capped the flurry with a 3-pointer from the top of the key.
N.C. State (22-14) expanded its lead to eight points on two occasions. Loe (8-of-11 FGs) buried his fourth 3-pointer of the game from the left corner, and following a SLU timeout, Grandy Glaze made a steal and a layup to make it 65-62 Wolfpack.
Following Warren’s three-point play that doubled the lead, Jett made one of two free throws and Jake Barnett drilled a trey from the left wing to trim the margin to two with 47 seconds to play.
N.C. State, which attempted a season-high 37 free throws (20-of-37), left the door open by missing two of four from the line in the final 45 seconds. Meanwhile, Loe’s driving layup drew the Bills to within a point, 69-68, and Jett’s drive tied it at 70 with 18.8 ticks left.
Jett was fouled, but his free throw for the lead rimmed out. Tyler Lewis’ attempt at a game-winner was just off the mark, and the Bills found themselves in their third overtime game of the year.
Austin McBroom drove for a layup to begin the extra session, and Lewis tied it with two free throws. On SLU’s next possession, Loe drove the baseline for a dunk that put the Billikens in front for good.
A pair of Loe free throws with 56 seconds remaining gave Saint Louis an 81-76 advantage, but N.C. State made it interesting. Desmond Lee’s layup was followed by a steal and layup by Warren, who was fouled on the play. His free throw missed, however, and Loe secured the rebound.
Saint Louis led 82-80 after Tanner Lancona made one of two from the stripe. Lee’s potential game-tying shot was off the mark and rebounded by McCall Jr., who was fouled and netted one of two with 11 seconds left. Ralston Turner’s 3-point try fell short, and McCall Jr. secured the rebound and a third consecutive Billiken second-round victory.
Loe connected from 3-point range on three of SLU’s first five possessions to stake the Billikens to a 9-4 lead. N.C. State responded with a 15-4 run, scoring on six straight and eight of 10 opportunities, to go on top 19-13.
A Jett free throw and Evans’ layup on a nice feed from Glaze narrowed the gap to 19-16. N.C. State answered with an 11-3 spurt that gave the Wolfpack its largest first-half lead, 30-19, at the 3:08 mark.
However, the Billikens finished the opening stanza on a 7-0 run. Lancona buried a long 2-pointer, Barnett drained a deep trey and Evans made a fast-break layup, and the N.C. State advantage was trimmed to 30-26 at intermission.
McCall Jr. finished with 12 points, six rebounds and a game-high-tying six assists, his season high. Evans had 11 points and six boards, John Manning chipped in seven points and Barnett netted six.
The Billikens shot just 39 percent in the first half but connected on 55 percent in the second half and overtime. Led by Loe’s 4-of-6, SLU was 9-of-18 from beyond the arc. The Bills committed just nine turnovers.Turner and Lee scored 16 and 13 points, respectively, for N.C. State. Lennard Freeman had nine rebounds, Lewis had six assists, and Warren and Jordan Vandenberg pulled down eight rebounds apiece.