St. John's Ends Cincy Win Streak

St. John's successfully defended its home court against the Bearcats on Saturday by defeating Cincinnati by a 70-58 final score.

After two emotional wins over rivals Miami of Ohio and Louisville, the Bearcats had a letdown against St. John's and lost their first BIG EAST game of the year by a 70-58 final score.

The first half was defined by three pointers and turnovers. The Bearcats trailed 33-22 at the half shooting only 41% from the field, but the Cats did hit on 4 of 9 from long range with Marcus Sikes stroking two of the bombs. But that marksmanship was offset by 11 Cincinnati turnovers. The Red Storm shot 52% from the field in the half making 4 of 6 three pointers. Freshman Justin Burrell led St. John's at the halfway mark with 11 points on 5 of 6 shooting from the floor.

Cincinnati did maintain a lead for much of the first half until the Red Storm closed the half with a 19-4 run.

The Bearcats did manage to cut slightly into the Red Storm's lead a couple of times early in the second half, but with ten minutes left in the game, St. John's had actually stretched it's lead to twelve points at 48-36, and it seemed to stay in that range for the rest of the game.

Both teams were hit with technical fouls in the second half. St' John's 6' 11" starting center Tomas Jasiulionis got his early in the period after tangling with John Williamson. The Bearcats bench was whistled for a technical foul with 5:54 left in the game.

The largest St. John's lead of the night came with under two minutes remaining as the Red Storm led 69-52, but Deonta Vaughn scored some late buckets finishing with 24 points on the night to return the final deficit to twelve points. It was the third time this season that Vaughn has scored 20 or more points in a game. John Williamson had 12 points for the Bearcats.

St. John's had four players score in double figures led by Anthony Mason Jr.'s 17 points. Freshmen Justin Burrell and D. J. Kennedy each scored 13 points while Eugene Lawrence had 12.

On his postgame show, Coach Cronin talked about when he got the feeling that it may not be the Bearcats' night. "I thought we came out early on playing well and should have been up ten. I told Coach Davis, it was about 15 to15 or 16 to14, at that point we had dropped loose balls, dropped rebounds, missed layups. We're supposed to be up ten. When you play good teams, solid BIG EAST teams that have quality talent on the road, if you're supposed to be up ten, you should be up ten. Sooner or later what happened was going to happen. All of a sudden they think hey we're supposed to win. Somebody makes a shot and somebody else makes another shot. We give away two threes to people just standing there with our hands down-to shooters. We just let them shoot it right in our face; stuff that we haven't done for quite a while. I was really disappointed in our defense, hustle, all the hustle stats that we always talk about. I thought St. John's really wanted this game more and went out and took it."

The Bearcats fall to 6-8 on the season and even their BIG EAST record at 1-1. St. John's improves to 7-6 on the year and also has a 1-1 league record. The Bearcats nedxt game is at home against Syracuse on Wednesday, January 9.


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