The St. John's basketball program continued it's dramatic winning ways Wednesday night by edging the feisty Rutgers Scarlet Knights, 58-56, in a Big East Conference game at the Carnesecca Arena in Jamaica, NY. The Red Storm (13-8, 5-5 Big East) earned their second straight win when senior forward Justin Brownlee made a 2-point layup with three second remaining -- St. John's first victory came Sunday against the No. 5 Duke Blue Devils, 93-78. Rutgers sophomore guard Dane Miller had a chance to win the game but missed a desperation 3-point shot at the buzzer.
Rutgers (12-10, 3-7), which trailed 50-40 with 4:52 to go, chipped away at the 10-point margin and tied the game with 22 seconds to go when senior forward Robert Lumpkins nailed a 3-pointer. However, the Johnnies had enough time to cross halfcourt, call timeout and set up a play, which allowed Brownlee to use his athleticism to scoot past the Rutgers defender and net the game winner. Brownlee finished with nine points and five rebounds. Senior guard Dwight Hardy scored a team-best 15 points.
Senior forward Johnathon Mitchell led the Scarlet Knights in scoring with 21 points. Miller had a stat-filled performance with nine points, seven rebounds and six assists.
St. John's finished the game shooting 18-for-48 from the field (36.7 percent) and just two of 11 from behind the 3-point arc. The Red Storm turned the ball over just 10 times.
Rutgers had too many turnovers (23) and didn't get to the free-throw line (nine of 14) as much as St. John's (20-for-31). Lumpkins finished with 13 points.
The St. John's basketball schedule has the Johnnies traveling across the country to the UCLA Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m.). Next week, the Red Storm host the Connecticut Huskies, who lost Tuesday, 66-58, to the Syracuse Orange, on Thursday (7 p.m.); then are at the Cincinnati Bearcats on Sunday (noon), Feb. 13.
The Rutgers basketball schedule has the Scarlet Knights at Notre Dame (No. 9 in the AP poll and No. 8 in the USA Today/ESPN Coaches poll) on Sunday (noon). Next week, Rutgers hosts the No. 12 Villanova Wildcats, Wednesday, Feb. 9, and Seton Hall Pirates, Saturday, Feb. 12.