Orlando, FL (SportsNetwork.com) - Rob Loe scored 22 points and pulled down 15 rebounds as Saint Louis erased a 16-point second half deficit to down North Carolina State, 83-80, in the second round of the NCAA Tournament on Thursday.
Jordair Jett added 18 points and Mike McCall Jr. finished with 12 points, six rebounds and six assists for the Billikens (27-6), who will face Louisville in the Round of 32 on Saturday.
"We just didn't want to give up. We didn't want to end on that kind of note. We didn't want to bow out of the tournament this early. We wanted to win," said Loe. "We're here to win, and we're here to put our mark on basketball. We just wanted to keep fighting."
T.J. Warren poured in a game-high 28 points, but finished just 6-of-14 from the free throw line and fouled out with 27.9 seconds remaining in overtime. Ralston Turner added 16 points and Desmond Lee scored 13 for the Wolfpack (22-14), which went just 20-for-37 from the stripe.
"I liked how we were playing. I liked how we played most of the game. Defensively we were really pretty good," said NC State coach Mark Gottfried. Offensively we did a lot of things well against their pressure. Even when you went to the foul line, you -- I still have great confidence that we're going to step up and make foul shots."
Warren's layup with 8:13 remaining gave NC State a 55-39 lead, but Saint Louis would score six straight to pull within 10 with just under seven minutes to go.
NC State pushed their spread back to 14, 59-45, at the 5:03 mark, but it was all Saint Louis from there. An 8-1 run, led by six points from Jett, cut the deficit to eight, 60-52. After Jordan Vandenberg split a pair of free throws, Dwayne Evans buried a three-pointer to make it a two-possession game.
Warren went 2-for-4 over two trips to the line over the next 19 seconds to make it 63-55. McCall netted a pair of free throws before Loe nailed a 3- pointer, his first since draining three straight in the game's early stages, and Grandy Glaze got a layup to fall to make it 65-62 with 1:18 remaining.
Warren made it a six point game after an acrobatic three-point play, but Jett split a pair of free throws and Barnett nailed a triple from the left wing to pull Saint Louis within two.
NC State's free throw woes continued as Barber and Warren went a combined 2- for-4 on free throw attempts around a Loe layup before Jett tied the game with his layup with 20 seconds left.
Jett was fouled on the play, but couldn't knock down the potential go-ahead free throw.
The Wolfpack couldn't get their go-to-guy Warren the ball as the clock was winding down, forcing Tyler Lewis to throw up a shot at the buzzer. Lewis had an open look from the free throw line, but the ball rimmed in-and-out and the teams headed to overtime.
NC State was 9-for-18 from the free throw line over the final 3:09 of regulation.
Loe put the Billikens up 76-73 with his layup 2 1/2 minutes into the bonus session. Lewis then turned it over on the ensuing trip down court and Jett split a pair from the line to stretch the Saint Louis lead to four, 77-73.
Warren had a chance to put NC State within two after sinking the first of two free throws, but was called for a lane violation on his second attempt as he crossed the line just before the ball made contact with the rim.
"A couple went in and out, got called for a lane violation. It was just pretty tough overall," Warren said.
A pair of Loe free throws made it 81-76 just inside the final minute, but a Lee layup, followed by a Warren steal and layup had the Wolfpack back within a point, 81-80. Warren was fouled on the play, but missed yet another free throw.
Jett nearly threw the ensuing inbounds pass away, but Tanner Lancona was able to handle the tough pass and was fouled by Warren -- his fifth of the game.
Lancona went 1-for-2 from the line and NC State was held scoreless the rest of the way.
Saint Louis jumped out to a 9-4 lead just over three minutes into the game as Loe buried a trio of 3-pointers, but the Wolfpack countered with a 7-2 swing to take a 15-11 lead moments later.
The Billikens pulled within 19-16 after an Evans layup, but an 11-3 burst from NC State made it 30-19 moments later. Saint Louis scored the final seven points of the half to cut the deficit to 30-26 entering the break.