Robert Lumpkins tied it with a late 3-pointer, than was beaten on a Justin Brownlee drive and lay-in with 3.5 seconds left as St. John's beat the Scarlet Knights 58-56 Wednesday at Carnesecca Arena in Queens, N.Y.
It was a disheartening loss as the Scarlet Knights (12-10, 3-7 Big East) overcame a 9-0 deficit at the start and 23 turnovers to get the game to the last possession. The Scarlet Knights also rallied from a 54-47 with deficit 1:50 to play before tying it.
"It was an interesting postgame," Rutgers coach Mike Rice told reporters afterward. "For how proud I was on one end of the game - the defensive end - and how angry and disappointed and frustrated I am on the other end – the offensive game, for them not to allow themselves to become frustrated and just quit after being so pathetic on offense, I told them I liked their fight.
"But eventually, they are going to have to stop getting in their own way and allow themselves to be successful."
Jonathan Mitchell made 8 of 9 shots for the Scarlet Knights and finished with a game-high 21 points, but it was the 3-point shooting of Lumpkins late that allowed Rutgers to rally.
Lumpkins made three straight 3-pointers and scored Rutgers' last 11 points. His shot with 22 seconds left tied it 56-56, but it didn't last.
Following a timeout, St. John's (13-8, 5-5) inbounded the ball to Brownlee at the free throw line. With his back to the basket and Lumpkins on his left hip, Brownlee quickly spun to his right, drove to the basket and scored on a lefty lay-up.
Rutgers' Dane Miller had a chance for a buzzer-beating 3-pointer, but his hurried shot missed the mark.
Dwight Hardy led St. John's with 15 points while Justin Burrell and Paris Horne each had 12 points. "Hardy was in the opposite corner, so we couldn't switch," Rice told reporters about the final defensive possession. "It was probably my fault. I should have yelled at Dane. They had Horne at half court and I should have just pushed them back to at least the top of the key.
"You weren't going to help off of Hardy and (Brownlee) did a tremendous job of driving left like he likes to dom and hitting the shot.""