Decision time looms for basketballer Rob Loe

MARC HINTON
Last updated 11:15 23/03/2014

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The college career of New Zealand's Rob Loe is over after his Saint Louis Billikens were bundled out of the NCAA tournament today by defending champions Louisville.

Louisville toppled Saint Louis 66-51 to advance to the Sweet 16, with the Billikens unable to summon another comeback, a la their big effort to haul in North Carolina State in the round of 64 on Friday.

Loe, a 2.10m centre, battled foul trouble throughout as Saint Louis trailed by nine at the half, briefly took the lead six minutes into the second period but could not sustain their effort over the run home.

The big Kiwi scored 10 points on four-of-eight shooting and added five rebounds for the Billikens. Louisville were paced by 21 points by last year's national championship game hero Luke Hancock.

Loe now has some decisions to make around his future. He is expected to return to trial for the Tall Blacks team to attend the World Cup in Spain, and is also being pursued by the New Zealand Breakers for next season's roster.

The North Shore native was not able to talk to professional teams while he was still playing college hoops, but can now start looking at his options for full time employment.

After scoring 22 points in the victory over the Wolfpack on Friday, Loe's stock may have increased significantly. He holds a UK passport too, which means he can play as an unrestricted player in Europe.

The Breakers are hoping the chance to play in his home town will entice him back to New Zealand as they look to beef up their roster following their disappointing 11-17 ANBL season.

All three New Zealanders playing in the tournament have now been eliminated, after Tai Webster's Nebraska and Richie Edwards' Arizona State were both toppled in the round of 64.

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