NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — St. John’s finally notched a win in the Big East — and it wasn’t easy.
JaKarr Sampson, Orlando Sanchez and D’Angelo Harrison each scored 16 points as the Red Storm escaped with a 77-76 victory over Seton Hall on Thursday night.
St. John’s (11-8, 1-5) snapped its five-game losing streak Saturday against Dartmouth, but didn’t secure its first conference victory until Sir’Dominic Pointer knocked the ball away from Seton Hall’s Fuquan Edwin just before the buzzer sounded.
It looked as though St. John’s was going to coast to the win when it took a 65-48 lead with 8:59 to play. The Pirates answered with a 13-2 run to get close and it became a free throw shooting contest in the final minute.
Sterling Gibbs had 20 points for Seton Hall (11-8, 2-4) and Brian Oliver added 19, making five of the Pirates’ eight 3-pointers.
Edwin’s three-point play on a rebound basket brought the Pirates to 76-73 with 27 seconds to go. Harrison missed two free throws 2 seconds later. Gibbs, who was 6 of 15 at the free throw line against Georgetown on Saturday, missed the first of two with 14 seconds left to make it 76-74.
Freshman Rysheed Jordan made one of two from the line for the Red Storm with 9.2 seconds left. Gibbs was fouled before he could get off a possible game-tying 3-point attempt. He made both to make it a one-point game.
Pointer then threw the ball away on the inbounds play and the Pirates had the ball with 4.3 seconds left.
Pointer made up for the turnover by knocking the ball away at midcourt.
Oliver pulled Seton Hall to 50-47 with a 3-pointer with 12:23 to play. Jamal Branch then scored the first seven points of the Red Storm’s 15-1 run that gave them a 65-48 lead with 8:59 left, and the crowd of 5,106 at Carnesecca Arena was ready to breeze home to a long-awaited conference win.
But the Pirates, who have lost four of five _ the lone win coming at Georgetown on Saturday _ came right back with a 13-2 run that was keyed by Patrik Auda, who scored seven straight points in the burst that made it 67-61 with 5:15 to play.
The Pirates committed 15 turnovers in the first half, three more than their average for a game. The miscues led to 11 points for the Red Storm, who led 35-29 at halftime. St. John’s entered the game leading the Big East in turnover margin (plus 2.7).
Seton Hall finished with 19 turnovers while the Red Storm committed 11.
St. John’s finished 8-1 at Carnesecca Arena this season. The Red Storm’s last six home games will be played at Madison Square Garden.
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