Saint Louis vs. Xavier final score: Musketeers upset Billikens in OT, keep tourney hopes alive

USA TODAY Sports

Xavier got a key victory over Saint Louis on Wednesday, beating the Billikens, 77-66, in OT and keeping its NCAA tournament hopes alive.

The Xavier Musketeers got a key victory late in the season, upsetting the Saint Louis Billikens, 77-66, in overtime.

The game was a physical defensive slugfest throughout. Saint Louis only managed to shoot 30% in the first half, going a putrid 3 of 12 on three-pointers. Xavier wasn't much better, only managing 8 of 26 buckets. They had a slim 24-20 lead at halftime.

The Billikens' scoring woes continued in the second half, going on a 2-of-11 drought as Xaviers' defense clamped down. However, the Musketeers never quite pulled away, never getting a lead bigger than eight points. The Billikens eventually found enough offense to make it a one-possession game with two minutes to go, and thanks to some poor free throw shooting from Xavier, Saint Louis tied the game on a Jordair Jett tip-in with 12 seconds left, forcing overtime.

In the free period, Xavier's defense took over once again, securing the victory. A free throw fest makes the final score look more like a blowout than it was.

Travis Taylor got his 10th double-double of the season with 19 points and 19 rebounds. Kwamain Mitchell led the Billikens with 17 points.

The loss snapped Saint Louis' 11-game winning streak and drops them into a tie with VCU for first place in the Atlantic 10. They still have a chance to wrap up the conference title when they host La Salle on Saturday. As for Xavier, this is an important "signature" victory for a team on the outer edge of the bubble. They're now 9-6 in the conference and 4-2 against Top 50 teams, but losses to Wofford, Wake Forest and Vanderbilt can't be ignored. A win over Butler and good showing in the A-10 tournament are musts at this point.

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