No. 18 Syracuse 82, St. John’s 81
NEW YORK (AP) _ Lawrence Moten scored 24 points and hit two free throws with 21.5 seconds left, giving No. 18 Syracuse an 82-81 win over St. John’s Sunday and sole possession of second place in the Big East.
The victory put the Orangemen (19-5, 11-5) a half-game ahead of Georgetown and a game in front of Boston College in the conference. Connecticut has clinched the regular-season title at 14-2.
It was the fourth loss in a row for St. John’s (11-14, 5-11).
But the Redmen made it close.
St. John’s rallied from a 12-point halftime deficit to take a 77-75 lead on two foul shots by Sergio Luyk with 2:27 left and led 81-78 after Carl Beckett made two foul shots with 1:27 to go.
Adrian Autry missed two foul shots for Syracuse, but Lucious Jackson got the rebound and scored, making it 81-80 with 1:15 to go.
Charles Minlend, who had 24 of his 28 points in the second half for the Redmen, missed with 39 seconds to go. Derrick Brown then fouled Moten, who made both shots.
Maurice Brown’s shot at the buzzer bounced off the rim for St. John’s.
Syracuse went on a 14-2 run to take a 25-18 lead midway through the first half and led 47-35 at halftime. But Minlend and Luyk led a 15-6 run in the second half to bring St. John’s to 69-68 with 6:55 left.
St. John’s tied it at 73 on a free throw by Minlend with 4:25 to go, then Moten put Syracuse ahead 75-73 with a basket. Minlend tied it again, then Luyk gave St. John’s the lead setting up the final minutes.
Autry had 17 points for Syracuse, John Wallace had 15 points and 11 rebounds and Jackson scored 13.
Rowan Barrett and Roshown McLeod each had 11 for St. John’s.