Loe's Timely Shots Lift SLU In OT

ST. LOUIS, Mo. - For the first time in two months, it looked as though the Saint Louis University Billikens would suffer the agony of defeat. Instead, senior big man Rob Loe scored a career-high 23 points, including 13 in the final 5:45, to lift SLU to an 87-81 victory over George Mason on Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

Instead, senior big man Rob Loe scored a career-high 23 points, including 13 in the final 5:45, to lift SLU to an 87-81 victory over George Mason on Saturday afternoon at Chaifetz Arena.

"It was a good win," Loe said. "We executed at the end and that's what helped us come out with a win."

After a back-and-forth first half saw the Billikens take a 27-26 lead into the locker room, the visiting Patriots seized control of the game early on in the second half behind strong play from guard Bryon Allen.

An Allen triple boosted the GMU lead to seven points at the 7:38 mark, but SLU continued to weather the storm behind impressive offensive play from senior guard Jordair Jett.

When it truly counted though, Loe shined bright. With 45 seconds left and SLU down 68-65, the six-foot-11 New Zealander nailed a triple from the top of the key to knot the game.

"I was open," he said. "Austin [McBroom] got me the ball at the end of the game there. I shot it and it went in, so that was good. Everyone grows up dreaming they are going to hit a big shot like that."

A 15-foot jumper by Marquise Moore went begging, sending the teams for an extra five-minute period.

So what was SLU head coach Jim Crews' approach to the final defensive possession?

"Pray," he said jokingly. "If it was early, we were potentially going to foul. . .if someone's waiting for the last shot, you have no shot to win basically. You might as well be aggressive and give yourself a shot to win in regulation."

In overtime, Loe continued to torch the nets. He scored 10 points in the extra session, including two free throws that put the game out of reach with just nine seconds remaining.

"We just wanted to keep the momentum going," Loe said. "We started getting stops and that was going to help our offense."

At several points, however, it looked as though SLU might be dead in the water. GMU executed extremely well on offense and corralled many timely offensive rebounds to set up buckets.

SLU's ability to score at will kept it in the game for a while, but a bevy of second-chance points for the Patriots made a comeback look difficult at times.

"It's deflating," Crews said. "I thought there were many times where we could've been deflated. Mason just kept making big play after big play. We did not deflate. We kept trying to do the next right thing. Our guys did a great job of sticking with it."

Allen paced the Patriots with 30 points on 12-for-17 shooting, and Patrick Holloway and Erik Copes chipped in scoring in double figures.

The win marked the best start after 22 games in SLU history.

NEXT UP: The Billikens will trip to Philadelphia for the week to face St. Joseph's and La Salle.

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