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Saint Louis 83, North Carolina State 80 (OT)

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ORLANDO, Fla. — Forward Rob Loe scored 22 points and pulled down 15 rebounds to lead the Saint Louis Billikens to a stunning 83-80 overtime win over the North Carolina State Wolfpack in the second round NCAA Tournament game at Amway Arena on Thursday.

Guard Jordair Jett added 18 points and guard Mike McCall Jr., had 12 and six assists for the Billikens (27-6), who rallied from 14 points down in the final five minutes of regulation to force the overtime and survived a last-second shot in regulation that could have given N.C. State the win.

Forward T.J. Warren led N.C. State (22-14) with 28 points, but the Wolfpack’s free-throw shooting problems and inability to cope with the Saint Louis press were their undoing. Guard Ralston Turner scored 16 for N.C. State and guard Desmond Lee had 13.

Saint Louis rallied from a 59-45 deficit in the final five minutes of regulation to send the game into overtime tied at 70.

The Billikens led 81-76 with 58 seconds left in the extra period when Lee hit a driving layup and Warren turned a steal into a potential three-point play. However, the senior missed the free throw with 37 seconds that would have tied the game.

After forward Tanner Lacona made one of two free throws to give the Billikens an 82-80 lead, Lee could not get another driving layup to fall.

McCall gave Saint Louis an 83-80 lead with a free throw and N.C. State had one more chance to tie, but Turner’s 3-point attempt in the final second hit the front rim and fell out.

N.C. State led 59-45 with 5:03 to play, but scored only one field goal the rest of the game and made only 10 of 21 free throws to open the door to give St. Louis a chance to rally.

The Billikens got within 65-62 when forward Grandy Glaze made a steal and layup with 1:11 to go, but Warren followed with a three-point play to extend N.C. State’s lead to 68-62 eight second later.

Saint Louis kept pressing and forward Jake Barnett’s 3-pointer and a layup by Loe made it 69-68 with 35 seconds to play.

Warren made one free throw to push the lead to 70-68, but Jett then made his driving layup to tie the score with 18 seconds left in regulation, but missed a free throw that would have given Saint Louis the lead.

Wolfpack guard Tyler Lewis missed a runner in the lane with one second to go to send the game to overtime.

Both teams struggled with their shooting before halftime. Warren had 10 first-half points for North Carolina State, but the Wolfpack made only 13 of 31 shots (41.9 percent) from the field and didn’t score in the final three minutes of the half.

Saint Louis started the game with a couple of 3-pointers from Loe, but the Billikens quickly went cold and needed to make their final three attempts to shoot 38.5 percent (10 of 26) for the half.

After trailing 6-0, North Carolina State caught the Billikens at 11 on a jumper by Turner. Warren scored six points on layups, and Turner drilled a 3-pointer to give the Wolfpack a 30-19 advantage with 3:03 left in the half.

N.C. State didn’t score again in the half, allowing Saint Louis to close with seven straight points and cut its deficit to 30-26 at intermission.

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NOTES: North Carolina State F T.J. Warren, the ACC player of the year, set a school record with 871 points after Thursday’s game. … Saint Louis one of a record six Atlantic 10 teams in the tournament. … North Carolina State made the tournament three of the past four years and won at least one game each time prior to Thursday’s loss. … The teams met for the first time.

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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