Recap: Memphis vs. Saint Louis
Columbus, OH (Sports Network) - Kwamain Mitchell scored 22 points and made four three-pointers on Friday, leading ninth-seeded Saint Louis over eighth- seeded Memphis, 61-54, in a second-round NCAA Tournament matchup.
Brian Conklin added 16 points for the Billikens (26-7), who earned their first win in the Tournament since 1998. They advanced to play top-seeded Michigan State in Sunday's third round.
"Our defense was solid throughout and our guys played hard against a very good team and I'm very proud of them," said Saint Louis coach Rick Majerus.
The Tigers (26-9) had won seven straight games entering Friday, but were undone by the Atlantic-10 Conference's best defense. They shot just 38.9 percent and went 2-of-15 from three-point range. Will Barton scored a team- high 16 points in the loss.
Early in the second half, Memphis used a 9-0 run to turn a three-point deficit into a 33-27 advantage.
But the Billikens, making their first NCAA Tourney appearance since 2000, battled back. They were down, 42-38, with under eight minutes left when Mitchell made a layup and a three-pointer in succession, putting his team on top and sparking a 14-2 burst which ultimately pushed the No. 9 seed into the third round.
Conklin capped the surge with four straight from the free throw line, making it 52-44 with under three minutes to play.
The Tigers pulled within four, 54-50, on Barton's three with 46 seconds left, but Saint Louis made 7-of-8 free throws the rest of the way to seal the win.
"We definitely got away from what got us here, taking quick shots," said Barton. "Most of that came from me. I take all the blame for it and it's tough to go out like this when you really beat yourselves."
The largest lead for either team in the first half was three points. Memphis shot just 33.3 percent from the field over that span and went 1-for-8 from beyond the arc. Saint Louis also struggled offensively, shooting 38.5 percent and making two three-pointers; the second of which was banked in at the buzzer by Mitchell for a 23-23 tie at the break.Game Notes
The Billikens have won 10 of its last 12 games overall. They lost to Xavier in the semifinals of the A-10 Tournament...Saint Louis was allowing just 57.5 points per game entering Friday, which ranked tops in the A-10 and eighth in the country...Mitchell entered Friday averaging 12.1 ppg...Memphis leads the all-time series, 32-26,