Winning on the road is never easy, and with 3.8 seconds remaining, it looked as though Saint Louis would need an additional five minute overtime frame to get the job done. However, a tip-in at the buzzer by senior guard Mike McCall Jr. lifted the Billikens to a victory at Valparaiso on Saturday night.
Up by a comfortable margin for much of the game, the Billikens ran cold during the last five minutes which allowed the Crusaders to get back into it.
Senior forward Dwayne Evans was yet again the driving force behind the SLU offense, scoring 21 points and grabbing 10 rebounds.
Junior big man Grandy Glaze also chipped in 14 points and did most of his damage with other SLU players in significant foul trouble during the first half.
Guard Lavonte Dority was a sparkplug for the home Crusaders (6-5). A high school teammate of McCall Jr., Dority led the way with 21 points, including a layin to tie the game at 65-all before McCall Jr.'s heroics.
SLU opened up the night in strong fashion, connecting on its first six buckets from the field. Foul trouble, however, plagued the Bills for much of the game, and they clinged to just a nine-point advantage at the halftime break.
Senior guard Jordair Jett was exceptional for much of the night, finding streaking Billikens going to the bucket. He finished with nine assists. He missed four free throws in the game including two front of one-and-one's to give the Crusaders a chance late. He did however have a block that will be seen in circles for quite some time to come.
The key to the game was keeping a good handle on the ball. SLU had just six turnovers, while forcing 17 by Valpo. The Billikens were able to get out in transition and extend their lead, which hovered between six and 12 for much of the game.
Both sides struggled from the foul line, shooting below 70 percent.
The one major concern from tonight was that SLU was outrebounded 53-31 on the night, and 7-footer Gueye ripped down 13 boards for Valpo.
Freshman forward Reggie Agbeko suffered a head injury in the first half and went to the hospital to be checked for a concussion. He's expected to make the trip back to St. Louis with the team.
Next up: SLU heads back home to face Wofford next Saturday.