Saint Louis University needed its few veterans to step up after a blowout loss against Mississippi State on Friday and their junior point guard Austin McBroom responded in a big way. He, with a new starting lineup, led the Billikens to another late victory. McBroom has been and is going to be the go-to player for the Billikens due to his experience and his ability to hit big shots. He will also be a key piece in the rebuilding of the Billikens.
Saint Louis’ Austin McBroom hit the game-winning 3-point shot with 7.4 seconds left against the Bradley Braves to give Saint Louis a 60-57 victory in the Corpus Christi Coastal Classic. This was McBroom’s second game-winning shot this season and his second against a Missouri Valley Conference team.
Saint Louis mixed up their starting lineup today by starting guard Marcus Bartley and forwards Reggie Agbeko and Brett Jolly with normal starters McBroom and Ash Yacoubou. The other three normal starters for SLU (John Manning, Tanner Lancona and Davell Roby) did not play today for undisclosed reasons.
SLU had a much better start against Bradley. McBroom had 5 early points for the Billikens. McBroom’s shooting ability allowed the Bills to run their offense more effectively than they did against Mississippi State on Friday. Despite the improved shooting performance, SLU struggled on the boards against Bradley.
The Braves had an advantage in the interior against the Billikens and they took advantage of it in the first half. One Bradley player would soar over multiple Billiken players around the rim to get rebounds. By halftime, the Braves held a 21 to 9 advantage in rebounding. While SLU had a lot of one-and-done possessions in the first half, Bradley had multiple looks during their possessions. It allowed the Braves to build as much as a nine point lead late in the first half, 29-20.
SLU began to limit Bradley’s opportunities late in the first half, but were still down seven points, 34-27, going into halftime. However, the Billikens defensive pressure carried over to the second half.
During the opening nine minutes of the second half, the Billikens held Bradley to 2-8 shooting allowing the Bills to complete their comeback effort and tie the game at 39 on a Mike Crawford jumper. Yet, Bradley kept the game within a basket or two the rest of the way.
The game went back and forth from that point with multiple lead changes from both teams. McBroom was the main reason that Saint Louis was able to stay in this game. If he was not scoring, then he would give his teammates opportunities to make shots.
Bradley’s Auston Barnes made a jumper to give the Braves a 53-51 lead and set the stage for an exciting final four minutes of the game. Bradley’s lead did not last long as SLU guard Milik Yarbrough made a layup to reclaim the lead for SLU.
After a McBroom jumper, Bradley’s Josh Cunningham hit a game-tying 3-pointer with 40.6 seconds left in the game. The game was tied at 57 until McBroom hit his game-winning shot with 7.4 seconds left in the game.
Saint Louis will return home to play a Division II Rockhurst team on Tuesday, Dec. 2nd while Bradley will return home to play Central Michigan on Dec. 2.