St. Louis Stuns Louisville in 59-58 Win
Marque Perry scored five of his 25 points in the final 13 seconds, maneuvering inside for the winning layup with 3.2 seconds to go as Saint Louis upset No. 2 Louisville 59-58 on Wednesday night.
Louisville had won 17 in a row since a two-point loss to Purdue on Nov. 30 in the second game of the season.
``It’s so big, I can’t really explain it,″ Perry said. ``Coach told us if we’re real close at the end, you never know what can happen.″
Saint Louis fans mobbed the court after Reece Gaines’ desperation 3-point attempt banged off the backboard at the buzzer. It’s the biggest victory for the Billikens (9-12, 3-7 Conference USA) since they upset top-ranked Cincinnati in the first round of the 2000 conference tournament.
``I would have been happy to beat Hazelwood Central (High School) tonight, because we really needed a win,″ coach Brad Soderberg said. ``I’ll go on record and say we outworked them.″
In other games involving Top 25 teams, it was: No. 4 Florida 74, Mississippi 55; No. 7 Pittsburgh 82, West Virginia 46; No. 11 Marquette 73, DePaul 60; No. 12 Creighton 70, Southwest Missouri State 67 in OT; No. 13 Oklahoma State 77, Nebraska 70; No. 16 Maryland 74, Florida State 72; and Texas A&M 73, No. 21 Missouri 71.
The Billikens, coming off a pair of road losses to mediocre Conference USA teams, were an unlikely candidate to end the nation’s longest winning streak.
``We talked about making the pace of the game uncomfortable for Louisville,″ Soderberg said. ``I don’t know if it was uncomfortable for them, but it was comfortable for us.″
Louisville coach Rick Pitino said the Cardinals’ 14-for-20 performance at the foul line was the difference.
``They played a terrific game and stopped a streak we had a lot of fun with,″ Pitino said. ``Now it’s time to start a new streak.″
Gaines had a season-high 28 points, five rebounds and three assists for the Cardinals (18-2, 8-1).
``Top to bottom, they’re a lot more talented team than we are,″ Saint Louis’ Chris Sloan said. ``Hustling was going to be the difference to pull out a win.″
No. 4 Florida 74, Mississippi 55
At Gainesville, Fla., Danish star Christian Drejer had his best performance of the season, finishing with 11 points and five assists, as Florida turned a two-point game into a blowout.
Drejer made a 3-pointer and had four assists during a 23-3 second-half run for Florida (20-3, 9-1 Southeastern Conference), which reached the 20-win mark for the fifth straight season.
The Rebels (12-9, 3-7) lost their fifth straight.
No. 7 Pittsburgh 82, West Virginia 46
At Pittsburgh, Donatas Zavackas came out of a shooting slump with 15 points and the Panthers played a runaway game after a succession of close ones.
Pittsburgh (17-3, 7-2 Big East) fell from No. 2 to No. 7 in the AP poll while dropping road games against Syracuse and Notre Dame, but they never were challenged by the Mountaineers (12-9, 3-6).
No. 11 Marquette 73, DePaul 60
At Rosemont, Ill., Steve Novak scored a career-high 17 points, including four straight 3-pointers during a decisive second-half stretch for Marquette.
Novak finished with five 3-pointers. Chicago native Dwyane Wade added 17 points, eight assists, seven rebounds and three steals for the Golden Eagles (18-3, 9-1 Conference USA), who won their 10th straight.
Sam Hoskin had 16 points and 12 rebounds for the Blue Demons (12-8, 4-5).
No. 12 Creighton 70, SW Missouri St. 67, OT
At Omaha, Neb., Brody Deren’s inside basket gave Creighton the lead, and Michael Lindeman made two free throws with 2.3 seconds left as the Bluejays came back from a 15-point deficit.
Creighton (22-2, 12-1 Missouri Valley Conference) won its 14th straight home game, despite playing the extra period without leading scorer Kyle Korver, who fouled out in the final minute of regulation against the Bears (13-8, 9-3).
No. 13 Oklahoma St. 77, Nebraska 70
At Lincoln, Neb., Victor Williams scored 11 of his 25 points during a key second-half run to lead Oklahoma State.
Nebraska (9-13, 1-8 Big 12) took a 50-47 lead on Brian Conklin’s 3-pointer with nine minutes left. But Oklahoma State (19-3, 8-1) went on a 22-8 run, and Williams made consecutive baskets to give the Cowboys the lead for good with 8:09 left.
No. 16 Maryland 74, Florida St. 72
At Tallahassee, Fla., Steve Blake scored Maryland’s final seven points, including four free throws in the final 17.5 seconds, as the Terrapins rebounded from two straight losses.
Blake, who finished with 15 points, made a 3-pointer to break a 67-67 tie and then clinched the win for Maryland with his clutch free throws.
Drew Nicholas added 20 points for Maryland (15-6, 7-3 Atlantic Coast Conference).
Trevor Harvey led Florida State (11-10, 2-8) with a career-high 19 points and 10 rebounds.
Texas A&M 73, No. 21 Missouri 71
At College Station, Texas, Bernard King had a season-high 29 points and Bradley Jackson scored the go-ahead basket with 2 seconds to play.
The Aggies (12-8, 4-5 Big 12) beat a ranked opponent for the first time since Jan. 23, 2001, when they defeated No. 24 Texas 80-74.
Missouri’s Travon Bryant hit a 3-pointer to tie it at 71 with 23 seconds to play. Jackson then drove to the basket and lofted a short jumper over a crowd of Tigers (14-6, 5-4) to give the Aggies the win.