On the day St. John's honored 10 former coaches and players who were all at the school when it was using its old nickname, the Red Storm knocked No. 9 Pittsburgh from the ranks of the unbeaten, 55-50, Saturday at Madison Square Garden.
The Red Storm is getting used to winning against ranked teams, having beaten No. 17 Louisville, 68-56, on Tuesday.
"We are not just playing for ourselves," St. John's guard Daryll Hill said. "St. John's has that history and we are trying to bring it back like it was before."
Lamont Hamilton matched his career high with 24 points, including two free throws with 12 seconds left that gave the Red Storm a 53-50 lead.
The win was the third in a row for St. John's (10-6 overall, 3-2 Big East), which was 9-18 last season, Coach Norm Roberts' first.
"I think that this is a statement that we are improving and that we are a tough basketball team," Roberts said.
After Hamilton's free throws gave St. John's the 53-50 lead, Pitt star Carl Krauser missed a three-point shot with six seconds left. Phil Missere rebounded the miss and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds left for the final margin. Pitt is 15-1, 4-1.