St. John’s 83, Ohio St. 80
COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) _ Billy Singleton and Jason Buchanan each scored four points in overtime after St. John’s overcame a 13-point second-half deficit, as the Redmen defeated Ohio State 83-80 Thursday night in a National Invitation Tournament quarterfinal game.
The victory advances the Redmen, 18-13, to the tournament semifinals at Madison Square Garden for the first time since 1975. The Redmen have won the tournament four times, a record they share with Bradley.
St. John’s won despite losing its leading scorer, Jayson Williams, on to fouls with 6:43 left in the second half.
Williams paced the Redmen with 21 points, 10 in a 19-6 run which brought St. John’s from a 48-35 deficit to a 54-54 tie.
The score was tied five more times, and there were seven lead changes the rest of the way as neither team led by more than four points.
Buchanan added 18 points, Matt Brust 14 and Malik Sealy and Singleton 10 apiece for St. John’s.
Ohio State, 19-15, got 15 points from Perry Carter, 14 from Grady Mateen, 13 from Jerry Francis and 11 from Jamaal Brown.
After Williams fouled out, both teams played a ball-control game, with St. John’s limited to three baskets and Ohio State two for the rest of regulation time.
Neither team scored after a basket by Buchanan tied the game at 72 with 1:43 left in regulation. Sealy missed a layup at the buzzer that would have won the game in regulation. He also missed three 1-and-1s in the final 4:05 of regulation.
A shot by Singleton from inside with 2:55 to play in overtime gave the Redmen the lead for good. Buchanan’s two free throws with 2:33 left made it 80-76, with Singleton adding two more free throws and Sean Muto one as the Buckeyes were forced to foul.
Muto missed a second free throw with two seconds to play, and Jerry Francis put up a desperation shot from beyond half-court that hit the rim and bounced off.
Ohio State led 44-33 at halftime with the Buckeyes outscoring the Redmen 13-3 in the final 4:04 of the first half.