St. John’s 59, Cincinnati 57

St. John’s failed to make a field goal over the last 8:58,

letting its 12-point lead evaporate, but Malik Boothe and Justin

Brownlee hit late free throws Sunday that rallied the Red Storm to

their second win in four days, 59-57 over Cincinnati.

St. John’s (15-9, 7-5 Big East) led 52-40, then missed its last

six shots from the field. Cincinnati pulled ahead 56-53 on Ibrahima

Thomas’ driving lay-in with 2:07 to go.

Boothe’s two free throws put the Red Storm ahead 58-57 with 42

seconds left. After Rashad Bishop missed a leaning jumper in

traffic, Brownlee was fouled and made the first of his two free

throws with 3.5 seconds to go.

Sean Kilpatrick’s heave from just inside the midcourt line was

off at the buzzer.

Cincinnati (19-6, 6-6) played most of the game without power

forward Yancy Gates, who was suspended for a game last week. He

played only one minute in the second half, stewing on the bench and

finishing without scoring in 13 minutes. Kilpatrick had a team-high

15 points.

The Red Storm was coming off an 89-72 win over Connecticut on

Thursday, its fourth victory over a Top 25 team this season. St.

John’s is in the middle of a tough stretch – three games in six

days. The Red Storm plays at Marquette on Tuesday.

Dwight Hardy led St. John’s with 18 points. Brownlee had 16

points and a team-high seven rebounds.

It was a reversal of their game on Jan. 22, when Gates’

three-point play with 8 seconds left sent the Bearcats to a 53-51

win. This time, Gates was on the bench with his head down while St.

John’s pulled it out in the closing seconds.

Brownlee helped St. John’s get the early lead, scoring 10 points

in an opening 24-14 run. Cincinnati struggled to move the ball

against the Red Storm’s zone defense, relying on 3-pointers for the

bulk of its points. Six of the Bearcats’ first seven baskets were

3s – Kilpatrick had three of them.

St. John’s shot 62.5 percent from the field in the half, leading

35-30 at the break. Cincinnati managed only four points close to

the basket, but went 7 of 15 from behind the arc to stay in the


The 3-pointers stopped falling early in the second half, and St.

John’s pulled away. Hardy stripped Kilpatrick of the ball and made

a layup, then scored off a fastbreak for a 45-33 lead.

The Bearcats made their comeback, then frittered chances to hold

on. Bishop was called for a lane violation on Boothe’s first free

throw in a 1-and-1 with 42 seconds to go. Given the second chance,

Boothe made both for a 58-57 lead.

Gates had another subpar game. Cincinnati’s best inside scorer

was suspended for a loss at Pitt for breaking team rules, and came

off the bench during a 71-68 win at DePaul. He was the last player

out of the locker room at halftime Sunday, got in the game for a

minute and was benched again.

He sat angrily in his padded folding chair, gesturing and

muttering to himself while others played his position. During

timeouts, he stood in the back of the huddle and looked around the

arena or stared at the floor.