EditorsNote: Updates final sentence with Friday’s opponents
Saint Louis pulls out win over Virginia Tech
Javon Bess made six free throws in the final 46 seconds, and Saint Louis overcame foul trouble to beat Virginia Tech 77-71 on Thursday in the first round of the 2K Classic at Madison Square Garden in New York.
After trailing by as many as 12 in the second half, the Hokies got within four on an Ahmed Hill layup with 3:48 to go. The teams traded baskets for the next three minutes, and Saint Louis led 69-64 with 39 seconds left.
Hill led all scorers with 26 points.
Bess led Saint Louis (3-0) with 22 points, and Jordan Goodwin added 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Billikens shot 46.8 percent from the floor, but were 4-for-18 from 3-point range, and Goodwin made just 1 of 7 attempts.
Saint Louis outrebounded Virginia Tech 43-31 and limited the Hokies to six on the offensive end.
Hasahn French fouled out, D.J. Foreman and Aaron Hines played much of the second half with four fouls.
The Hokies’ Kerry Blackshear Jr. fouled out with 3:18 to go.
Virginia Tech attempted 36 free throws to 25 for Saint Louis.
Saint Louis went on a 13-2 run to take a 29-21 lead with 6:09 to go in the first half.
The Billikens made 15 of 23 two-point shots but were 1-for-9 from beyond the arc in the first half.
Virginia Tech (2-1) averaged 121.5 points in blowout wins over Detroit and The Citadel in its first two games.
Saint Louis faces Providence in Friday’s championship game. The Hokies play Washington in the consolation game.