Senior Xavier Sneed’s 3-point field goal with 2 seconds left was just off the mark, as Saint Louis held on for a 66-63 win over Kansas State before 11,625 fans in the 10th Wildcat Classic at the Sprint Center.
In a highly-contest game where neither team led by more 3 points in the second half, Saint Louis (10-2) broke a 63-all tie on freshman Yuri Collins’ driving layup with 2:02 to play. Collins extended the lead to 66-63 on a free throw with 52 seconds before a final sequence, in which, Sneed had an opportunity to tie the game on the final possession. The teams battled through 13 ties and 12 lead changes, including 10 of each in the second half.
K-State (6-5) has now lost 4 of 5 games this season by single digits, including consecutive games.
The loss spoiled an impressive effort by junior forward and St. Louis native Levi Stockard III, who scored a career-high 17 points off the bench on 5-of-5 field goals and 7-of-9 free throws. It marked the first time in his 79-game career that he has scored in double figures and the first time he has led the team in scoring. Fellow St. Louis native Xavier Sneed also scored in double figures with 11 points on 3-of-7 field goals, all coming from 3-point range.
Stockard was part of a Wildcat bench that scored 31 of the team’s 63 points, as junior David Sloan chipped in 7 points to go with a season-best 8 assists in a season-high 28 minutes and freshmen DaJuan Gordon and Montavious Murphy added 5 and 2 points, respectively. It marked Murphy’s first action in more than a month after missing the last 7 games due to injury.
The Billiken bench also proofed to be effective with 31 points of their own, as junior Javonte Perkins scored of all his team-high 12 points in the second half, while freshman Terrance Hargrove, Jr., added 10 points. Perkins and Hargrove went a combined 7-of-10 from the field and 7-of-8 from the free throw line. Junior starter Jordan Goodwin also registered double figures with 11 points.
The loss snapped the Wildcats’ 5-game winning streak in the Wildcat Classic, which has been held since 2007. It was the first loss in the Classic in nearly a decade since a 63-59 setback to UNLV on Dec. 21, 2010.