Wichita State vs Saint Louis

No. 12 Wichita State pulls away from Saint Louis late


ST. LOUIS -- 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 play us.

"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 problems.

"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.

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC is strictly prohibited.
Wichita State's Cleanthony Early slams in two of his 12 points in the Shockers' 70-65 win over Saint Louis. (USATSI)
Wichita State's Cleanthony Early slams in two of his 12 points in the Shockers' 70-65 win over Saint Louis. (USATSI)
Wichita State #12 (8-0) «284270
Saint Louis (6-2)293665
WICHST:R. Baker 22 Pts
WICHST:T. Cotton 10 Reb
WICHST:F. VanVleet 6 Ast
STLOU:D. Evans 18 Pts
STLOU:D. Evans 5 Reb
STLOU:D. Evans 4 Ast

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Wichita StateSaint Louis
Ron Baker
Dwayne Evans
Wichita State Shockers
T. Cotton, G354-112-2102310
C. Early, F344-122-241212
F. VanVleet, G333-83-446310
R. Baker, G297-106-762322
C. Lufile, F265-72-280112
N. Wiggins, G170-10-01120
D. Carter, F101-12-23044
K. Coleby, C80-20-01000
E. Wessel, G80-00-00010
Z. Bush, FDid Not Play
D. Green, FDid Not Play
D. Bowles, GDid Not Play
R. Holland, GDid Not Play
S. Morris, FDid Not Play
J. Simon, GDid Not Play
Totals 24-5217-1937121970
Saint Louis Billikens
D. Evans, F375-118-954018
M. McCall Jr., G323-74-642112
J. Jett, G314-93-444112
R. Loe, F275-80-052511
R. Agbeko, F60-10-01100
J. Barnett, F280-53-42013
A. McBroom, G163-70-00017
J. Manning, C111-20-01052
G. Glaze, F100-20-00010
T. Lancona, F20-10-00000
J. LePak, GDid Not Play
M. Crawford, G-FDid Not Play
A. Eagleton, GDid Not Play
A. Yacoubou, GDid Not Play
Totals 21-5318-2322131565
American Athletic
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
Wichita St.0-08-112
E. Carolina0-05-4332
So. Florida0-04-6325

Atlantic 10
TeamConf. W-LTot. W-LRPI Rank
St. Bona.0-07-276
Rhode Island0-05-325
Geo. Wash.0-05-5158
Saint Louis0-05-5145
George Mason0-05-6231
La Salle0-05-675
Saint Josephs0-04-5208
Other games
HARDIN 59 Final
BAYL 104
UNC 59 Final
UAB 63
GW 60 Final
OKST 68 Final
COPS 51 Final
UK 79 Final
MU 59 Final
CP 61 Final
ORE 82