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12/01/2013 5:55 PM EST
No. 12 Wichita State holds off Saint Louis 70-65
WICHITA ST 70, SAINT LOUIS 65
By R.B. FALLSTROM
AP Sports Writer
ST. LOUIS (AP) -- Plenty of times, Wichita State looked
vulnerable. The Shockers stayed unbeaten by doing enough things
right at the finish.
Ron Baker capped a nice overall game with the go-ahead basket
after getting left unguarded on the baseline and Fred VanVleet
had two free throws and an assist in the closing seconds as No.
12 Wichita State edged Saint Louis 70-65 on Sunday.
"At the end of the day we made a few big plays that gave us that
cushion," VanVleet said. "Teams are going to be jacked up to
"We just have to stay focused," VanVleet said.
Baker had 22 points, six rebounds and four steals for Wichita
State (8-0), which traded runs with Saint Louis (6-2). The
Shockers rallied from a seven-point deficit with just under
seven minutes to go with a 9-0 run and then outscored the
Billikens 6-1 in the final minute.
"I'm just glad it was a 40-minute game because it was a game of
runs," Marshall said. "And their run was coming next."
Cleanthony Early hit a layup off VanVleet's pass for a 68-65
lead with 14 seconds to go, and VanVleet added a pair of free
throws with 3.2 seconds left. Baker drove the lane with 58
seconds left to put the Shockers ahead for good.
"We weren't organized, they weren't organized," Marshall said.
"It was just breakdown basketball, if you will."
Early missed 8 of 12 shots but also hit a pair of key 3-pointers
late and had 12 points.
Saint Louis missed two 3-point attempts and Jake Barnett missed
a second free throw with a chance to tie it at 66 with 30.1
seconds to go. Mike McCall missed the second of two free throws
with a chance to give the Billikens a 65-64 lead with 1:26 left.
"You really had to earn everything," Billikens coach Jim Crews
said. "It was kind of a game of swings, it seemed like to me,
and they made the last swing."
Dwayne Evans had 18 points and nine rebounds for Saint Louis,
which also has lost to No. 10 Wisconsin. Tekele Cotton had 10
points and 10 rebounds for Wichita State.
"We can only dismiss so many opportunities to get statement wins
early in the year," Evans said. "I think we're playing well but
we've got to pull one of these out."
St. Louis honored Rick Majerus during a halftime ceremony on the
anniversary of his death. Former players Luke Meyer and Paul
Eckerle gave tributes and athletic director Chris May gave
Majerus' A-10 championship ring from last season to Angie
Kvidera, the coach's longtime girlfriend.
"Certainly it brings back sad memories," said Crews, who led
Saint Louis to the NCAA tournament as the interim coach all last
season after Majerus fell ill. "I really miss Rick, as a coach
but more as a friend. He certainly set the foundation."
A banner commemorating Majerus' 517 career victories has hung
over center court since soon after his death at 64 from heart
"That was the greatest four years of my life," Eckerle said.
"Coach changed our lives forever."
Both of Saint Louis's big men fouled out. Rob Loe fouled out for
the second straight game with 4:20 to go, finishing with 11
points and five rebounds, and backup John Manning had two points
and a rebound before drawing his fifth with 1:57 left and the
game tied at 63.
Early missed his first six shots, getting his first points on a
thundering dunk off a turnover with 1:12 left in the half.
Saint Louis made its first three shots for an 8-0 lead, two of
them 3-pointers by Mike McCall. Wichita State dug an early hole,
missing 10 of its first 12 shots and trailing by 10 points
before beginning a 17-0 spurt that put the Shockers up 24-16
with 4:39 to go in the half.
Austin McBroom had five points in an 11-0 run by Saint Louis
that quickened the pace, and Loe hit a follow shot with two
seconds to go for a 29-28 lead.
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