Billikens Lose Again On Road

DETROIT — The Saint Louis Billikens put on a furious rally in the final two minutes of play but came up short 62-57 at Detroit on Saturday afternoon at Calihan Hall. The Billikens were down 11 points and cut the lead to just one point, but were unable to complete an amazing comeback.

Down 55-44 with 2:09 left, Tommie Liddell III scored eight straight points in 37 seconds to spark the SLU comeback. The senior guard scored on a drive and was fouled. His free throw cut the margin to 55-47 with exactly two minutes to go.

After the Billikens forced a turnover, Liddell drained a 3-pointer from just left of the key as the Billikens edged to 55-50 with 1:38 remaining. The Billiken pressure again caused a Detroit miscue, and Liddell drained a mid-range jumper to cut the gap to 55-52.

The Titans finally scored to push the lead back to 57-52, and after a SLU miss, one free throw put the Detroit lead at 58-52 with 41 seconds left. Liddell again answered for the Billikens with a trey. Ruben Cotto stole the ball on the inbounds pass and fed Paul Eckerle as the Billikens closed to 58-57 with 29 seconds left to play.

Detroit's Woody Payne hit two free throws to push the Titans back on top 60-57 with 26 ticks to go. The Billikens looked for the game-tying 3-pointer, but the shot was blocked in the waning seconds. Two free throws by Xavier Keeling sealed the win for Detroit.

Liddell led the Billikens with 16 points while hitting six-of-11 from the field, including two-of-three from beyond the arc. Kevin Lisch scored 14 points and hit all eight of his free throw attempts. Brett Thompson led the Billikens with five rebounds.

Xavier Keeling led the Titans with 21 points and nine rebounds, while Woody Payne finished with a career-high 17 points. The Titans shot 58.8 percent in the second half to overcome the narrow two-point halftime deficit. For the first time this season, the Billikens were out-rebounded 31-24.

The Billikens fall to 2-3, while the Titans improve to 2-3.

Saint Louis closes out a three-game road swing with a contest at Southern Illinois on Tuesday, Dec. 2. Game time at SIU Arena is 7:05 p.m.

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