#16 Saint Louis Escapes Mullins With 64-62 Win Over Men's Hoops
March 9, 2014
AMHERST, Mass. - The No. 16 Saint Louis basketball team used an 8-to-2 run over the final two minutes of play to escape the Mullins Center with a 64-62 win on Sunday afternoon. Jordair Jett scored the game-winning basket on driving lay-up with 3.4 seconds remaining. Chaz Williams had a contested look at a buzzer-beating three-pointer, but his shot glazed off the front right of the rim.
The Billikens improve to 26-6 overall and 11-5 in the Atlantic 10. The win gave Saint Louis the Atlantic 10 regular-season crown for the second straight year. UMass falls to 23-7 overall and 10-6 in league play.
The game was close throughout with 10 lead changes and seven ties. UMass led 35-33 at the break and had as large as a seven point lead in the second half.
Williams finished with a game-high 20 points and nine assists, while Derrick Gordon had 15 points to lead UMass. Prior to the game Williams along with Raphiael Putney and Sampson Carter were honored as part of the Senior Day festivities.
Saint Louis was led by Jett's 17 points, six of which came in the final 92 seconds of play. Dwayne Evans added 14 points, while Mike McCall, Jr. chipped in 12 on the day.
After the Billikens had tied the game 56-56 with 3:16 to go, Gordon and Carter each scored to extend the lead back to four.
Evans hit a lay-up and Jett hit a pair of free throws to once again tie the game at 60 with 1:32 remaining.
Williams again put UMass up on a driving lay-up, but Jett responded at the other end.
With the game tied at 62, the Minutemen had a pair of looks in the paint, but were unable to convert either. A Rob Loe block was ruled a jump ball with possession going to Saint Louis with 36 seconds to play. The Billikens held the possession until Jette began his drive to the hoop. Through traffic, he was able to get enough spin on the ball for it to hit off the backboard, sit briefly on the rim and then drop through for the lead.
UMass had led by as many as seven, 56-49, at the 5:48 mark in the second half. Both teams struggled from the floor to start the second stanza, but the Minutemen used an 8-to-2 run to open things up.
A turnover and two empty offensive possessions allowed Saint Louis to answer UMass with a 7-to-0 run which tied the game at 56.
UMass went into the intermission leading 35-33 despite Saint Louis jumping out to an early seven point lead at the start of the game. The Billikens opened up a 9-2 lead in the first two minutes of play. After a 30-second timeout, UMass turned defense into offense forcing four turnovers while going on a 10-to-0 run taking a 12-9 lead at the 16:07 mark.
The balance of the first half remained nip-and-tuck with each team trading leads. A Putney lay-up with 39 seconds to go gave the Minutemen the 35-33 lead. Evans missed a pair of free throws on the next possession for SLU and Putney was unable to connect on a trey from the right wing as time expired.
As the score suggested, the game was statistically even with UMass shooting 42.4 percent from the floor (25-of-59) and Saint Louis going 44.6 percent (25-of-56). The Minutemen held a slight 35-to-33 edge on the boards and both teams had 14 turnovers.