College basketball: St. John’s stuns No. 4 Duke 81-77 to end 11-game skid

Bashir Ahmed of the St. John's Red Storm reacts after bumping into Grayson Allen of the Duke Blue Devils at Madison Square Garden.
(Lance King / Getty Images)

That’s two losses in three games for No. 4 Duke — and this one to a team that hadn’t won since Christmas.

Shamorie Ponds scored 33 points and St. John’s stunned the Blue Devils 81-77 at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, snapping an 11-game losing streak and handing a suddenly suspect Duke squad its second defeat in eight days.

“We got what we deserved,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “We weren’t able to knock them out after we lost the first 12 rounds of a 15-round fight.”


Bashir Ahmed added 19 points and Tariq Owens had 17 for the Red Storm (11-13), who overcame an early 10-point deficit and fought off Duke’s heralded freshmen down the stretch in their biggest victory under third-year coach Chris Mullin.

It was the first win for St. John’s since Dec. 20 against Saint Joseph’s.

Oklahoma State 84, at No. 7 Kansas 79: Kendall Smith knocked down a 3-pointer from the wing in the first half, silencing a buzzing sellout crowd of Kansas fans. The Oklahoma State guard instinctively put his finger to his lips in the universal sign for “shush.”

Smith silenced them again when it mattered most.

The senior backup scored 24 points, including the clinching free throws in the final seconds, and the Cowboys held on to beat the Jayhawks 84-79 on Saturday for a rare win in Allen Fieldhouse.

Cameron McGriff added 20 points and Jeffrey Carroll had 15 for the Cowboys (14-9, 4-6 Big 12), who built an 18-point first-half lead and dominated the boards in ending their three-game losing streak.

No. 2 Virginia 59, at Syracuse 44: De’Andre Hunter scored 15 points, Kyle Guy added 14 and second-ranked Virginia smothered struggling Syracuse 59-44 on Saturday.

Virginia (22-1, 11-0 Atlantic Coast Conference), which beat the Orange 68-61 in January, has won 14 straight and is off to its best start in conference play since the days of Ralph Sampson, who led the 1980-81 team to a 12-0 start.


Syracuse (15-8, 4-6), in desperate need of a signature victory, was coming off a four-point loss at Wake Forest in which it shot 30 percent (15 of 50), and the offensive futility continued against the nation’s best scoring defense.

The Orange shot under 40 percent in the January loss to the Cavaliers and fared worse the second time around. Syracuse finished 17 of 50 (34 percent) and its 44 points were its fewest ever in the Carrier Dome.

The Orange needed big games from its top three scorers — Tyus Battle, Frank Howard, and Oshae Brissett — and they didn’t deliver. Battle finished with 15 points on 6-of-17 shooting, Howard was 4 of 17 for 11 points and Brissett had nine points.

No. 3 Purdue 78, at Rutgers 76: Vincent Edward had 18 points, seven rebounds and eight assists, and Purdue held on for a school-record 19th straight win.

Mathis Dakota scored 16 points, Carsen Edwards had 13 and P.J. Thompson added 12 points for the Boilermakers (23-2, 12-0 Big Ten).

Corey Sanders had 31 points and seven rebounds, and Deshawn Freeman added 14 points and nine rebounds for Rutgers (12-13, 2-10), which overcame a 15-point first-half deficit looked poised to pull off an upset at home.


Rutgers pulled within one on two occasions. Shaquile Doorson had a put-back dunk off of Geo Baker’s missed layup to get to 48-47 with 12:28 left, and Freeman had a tip-in on a miss by Sanders to make it 55-54 with 8:06 remaining, However, that was as close as the Scarlet Knights got the rest of the way.

No. 5 Michigan State 63, at Indiana 60: Matt McQuaid scored 12 points and made the decisive 3-pointer with 1:08 to play Saturday night, leading No. 5 Michigan State past Indiana 63-60.

The Spartans (22-3, 10-2 Big Ten) have won six straight to stay two games behind Purdue in the conference title chase.

Juwan Morgan had 23 points and 11 rebounds for Indiana (12-12, 5-7), which has lost four straight overall. Freddie McSwain Jr. finished with eight points and 16 rebounds.

Indiana, which lost to the Spartans 85-57 earlier this season, had a chance to force overtime, but Devonte Green’s 70-foot heave bounced high off the back of the rim as the buzzer sounded.

at No. 6 Xavier 96, Georgetown 91, OT: Trevon Bluiett had a season-high 31 points, including a four-point play that tied it late in regulation, and No. 6 Xavier never trailed in overtime, holding on to beat Georgetown 96-91 on Saturday.


The Musketeers (21-3, 9-2 Big East) made all of their 10 free throws in overtime, including four by Tyrique Jones, as they remained unbeaten in 15 home games this season. Bluiett’s two foul shots clinched it with 10 seconds left.

The Hoyas (13-9, 3-8) missed a 3-pointer at the end of regulation and another one in overtime that gave Xavier a chance to finish off a back-and-forth game. There were 20 ties and 21 lead changes, with neither team ahead by more than five points.

Xavier has won six in a row, staying right behind No. 1 Villanova for the Big East lead.

Jessie Govan scored 23 points, and Marcus Derrickson had 19 points and 15 rebounds for Georgetown, which has lost five of six.

No. 8 Cincinnati 65, at UConn 57: Cincinnati coach Mick Cronin says his philosophy when playing conference games on the road is to win and get the heck out of the building.

Jacob Evans III scored 19 points and No. 8 Cincinnati left Gampel Pavilion on Saturday with a 65-57 victory over a struggling UConn team. It was the Bearcats 14th straight win.

Kyle Washington added 13 points and 11 rebounds for Cincy (21-2, 10-0 American), which struggled at times but never trailed.


Jalen Adams scored 20 points and Christian Vital added 18 for the Huskies, who have lost five of their last six to fall below the .500 mark at 11-12 (4-6) American.

No. 10 Texas Tech 83, at Texas Christian 71: Jarrett Culver scored 20 points with four 3-pointers, and No. 10 Texas Tech beat TCU 83-71 on Saturday for its fourth straight victory and a share of the Big 12 Conference lead.

Culver, Tech’s hometown freshman guard, made all of his 3s in the first half. That included consecutive baskets from beyond the arc in an 18-0 run that put the Red Raiders (19-4, 7-3 Big 12) firmly in control — even without top scorer Keenan Evans taking a shot in that stretch.

Evans still finished with 17 points and six assists , while Zhaire Smith had 12 points.

Desmond Bane’s three-point play for TCU (16-7, 4-6) tied the game at 9 before the big run the next 4 minutes by Texas Tech, which started the second half of league play by matching Kansas atop the standings after the Jayhawks lost at home earlier Saturday against Oklahoma State.

at No. 11 Auburn 93, Vanderbilt 81: Bryce Brown scored 25 points and Mustapha Heron had 23 to lead hot-shooting No. 11 Auburn to a 93-81 win over Vanderbilt on Saturday night.

The two high-scoring guards alternated taking over for the Tigers (21-2, 9-1 Southeastern Conference) in the second half.


It was almost as if they were trying to one-up each other against the last-place Commodores (8-15, 2-8). Heron scored 13 straight Auburn points, including three 3-pointers. Then Brown topped that with a 15-point run that also included a trio of 3s, one of which he turned into a four-point play.

Auburn made a season-high 17 3-pointers on 26 attempts to snap a 13-game losing streak against Vanderbilt.

Jared Harper scored 14 points and had 14 assists for Auburn, making three 3-pointers in the first nine minutes. Chuma Okeke hit a pair of 3s and had 12 points.

Jeff Roberson had the hot hand for the Commodores, pouring in 30 points and making 5 of 9 from beyond the arc. Riley LaChance scored 13.

at Texas 79, No. 12 Oklahoma 74: Matt Coleman scored 22 points, leading a big Texas second-half rally before his late free throws helped secure a 79-74 win over No. 12 Oklahoma and freshman star Trae Young on Saturday.

Coleman scored 14 points in the second half. His free throws down the stretch came after he missed three in a row late in an overtime loss at Texas Tech that could have helped clinch a victory. Texas closed the game on a 22-8 run.


Kerwin Roach II added 19 points for Texas (15-8, 5-5 Big 12).

Young, the national scoring leader, came in averaging 30.3 points, but finished with 19 points on 7-of-22 shooting and made just two 3-pointers. He had 14 assists. The loss kept the Sooners (16-6, 6-4) from pulling into a three-way tie atop the Big 12 with Kansas and Texas Tech.

No. 13 Saint Mary’s 65, at San Diego 62: Jock Landale had 34 points and tied his season high with 18 rebounds — he had a double-double by halftime — and the No. 13 Saint Mary’s Gaels held off San Diego 65-62 on Saturday night to extend their school-record winning streak to 18.

The Gaels (23-2, 12-0 West Coast Conference) have the nation’s second-longest winning string. No. 3 Purdue won its 19th straight on Saturday, 78-76 at Rutgers.

The Gaels led 36-24 at halftime and continued to lead by double digits until the Toreros slowly closed the gap late in the game.

Tyler Williams hit three 3-pointers and Isaiah Wright hit two 3s down the stretch for USD (15-9, 6-6).

Landale powered into the key for a layup and Jordan Ford hit a runner on the baseline, both shots keeping the Gaels’ lead at four points.


The closest USD got was 63-62 on Wright’s 3-pointer with 11.2 seconds left. Emmett Naar was fouled and made both shots. Wright missed a 3 just before the buzzer and Calvin Hermanson rebounded.

Landale, a 6-foot-11 senior, had his 16th double-double of the season. He was three points shy of his season-high.

at No. 14 Gonzaga 68, Brigham Young 60: Rui Hachimura scored 15 points, Josh Perkins added 14 and No. 14 Gonzaga edged BYU 68-60 on Saturday night for its fifth win in a row.

Johnathan Williams had 13 points and nine rebounds for Gonzaga (21-4, 11-1 West Coast), which had lost to BYU at home each of the previous three seasons.

TJ Haws had 22 points for BYU (18-7, 7-5), which was coming off a head-scratching road loss at Loyola Marymount.

at No. 15 Weast Virginia 89, Kansas State 51: Sagaba Konate scored 19 points and West Virginia ended a three-game losing streak.

James “Beetle” Bolden added 13 points in his first career start, Teddy Allen had 12 points off the bench and Wes Harris had 10 for West Virginia (17-6, 6-5 Big 12).


Dean Wade scored 17 points and Xavier Sneed had 16 for Kansas State (16-7, 5-5).

The Wildcats never led, were held to their lowest scoring output of the season and had more turnovers (15) than field goals (14).

at No. 18 Tennessee 94, Mississippi 61: Grant Williams and Lamonte’ Turner scored 17 points each to lead five Tennessee players in double figures Saturday night as the 18th-ranked Volunteers trounced Mississippi 94-61 for their fifth straight victory.

The blowout enabled Tennessee (17-5, 7-3 SEC) to move into sole possession of second place in the Southeastern Conference. The Vols began the day in a three-way tie for second with No. 21 Kentucky and No. 23 Florida, which both lost Saturday.

Tennessee has won eight of its last nine games while Ole Miss (11-12, 4-6) has dropped five of its last six.

With eight games remaining in the regular season, Tennessee already has exceeded its 2016-17 win total. The Vols finished 16-16 last year.

Admiral Schofield had 15 points and 12 rebounds for Tennessee. Kyle Alexander scored 14 points and Jordan Bowden added 10 for the Vols.


at No. 19 North Carolina 96, Pittsburgh 65: Luke Maye scored 26 points to help No. 19 North Carolina beat Pittsburgh 96-65 on Saturday night, ending its first three-game losing streak in four years.

The Tar Heels (17-7, 6-5 Atlantic Coast Conference) found themselves in a close game late in the first half with a team that had yet to win a league game, but they blew it open with a big run spanning halftime.

Graduate transfer Cameron Johnson scored eight points against his former team in UNC’s 14-3 half-ending flurry, which grew to 25-5 when Joel Berry II hit his fourth 3-pointer for a 56-37 lead with 16:48 left.

Freshman Marcus Carr scored 22 points for the Panthers (8-16, 0-11), who hit eight first-half 3s to hang around but made 2 of 16 after halftime as the Tar Heels’ lead ballooned.

That sent Pitt to its 11th straight loss, the longest skid in program history.

No. 20 Clemson 75, at Wake Forest 67: Gabe DeVoe scored 24 points and No. 20 Clemson beat Wake Forest 75-67 on Saturday.

Marcquise Reed added 10 of his 22 in the final six minutes to help the Tigers (19-4, 8-3 Atlantic Coast Conference) win their third straight and claim sole possession of second place in the league standings, a half-game ahead of No. 4 Duke.

Bryant Crawford scored 16 points and Keyshawn Woods added 13 for the Demon Deacons (9-14, 2-9). Wake Forest went 5 minutes without a field goal down the stretch while Clemson finally took control of a tight game that had 20 lead changes and 12 ties.


Reed put the Tigers ahead to stay with a free throw with 3:39 to play, and his jumper with about 90 seconds left put Clemson up 69-65 — the first time since early in the second half that the margin was greater than two possessions either way.

Doral Moore added 13 rebounds for the Demon Deacons. Shelton Mitchell finished with 10 points for the Tigers.

at Missouri 69, No. 21 Kentucky 60: Missouri had never beaten Kentucky in 10 previous tries, but behind 16 points each from Jordan Barnett and Kassius Robertson, the Tigers finally cleared that Big Blue hurdle.

The 21st-ranked Wildcats (17-6, 6-4 Southeastern Conference) had erased double-digit deficits the last two games in victories over West Virginia and Vanderbilt, but their poor shooting against Missouri’s stingy defense ensured there would be no rally this time.

Kentucky shot 31.3 percent from the field. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander led the Wildcats with 15 points and six assists.

Jontay Porter added 13 points and eight rebounds for Missouri (15-8, 5-5 SEC).

Missouri led 28-18 at halftime, as Kentucky made just 20 percent of its first-half shots and went 0 for 10 from 3-point range.


Alabama 68, No. 23 Florida 50: Collin Sexton scored 17 points, Donta Hall notched his fourth double-double of the season, and Alabama rallied from a 10-point deficit for the upset.

Sexton added eight rebounds and six assists for the Tide (15-8, 6-4 Southeastern Conference), which improved to 2-4 on the road.

The Gators (15-8, 6-4) lost their third consecutive SEC game, the first time that’s happened since the end of coach Mike White’s first season in 2016.

Alabama dominated Florida in the paint, on the glass and up and down the floor. Sexton took over in the second half, dribbling through the defense and creating open layups and dunks.

Hall was one of the beneficiaries. He made all seven shots and finished with 14 points and 11 boards.

KeVaughn Allen led the Gators with 16 points.

at No. 24 Michigan 76, Minnesota 73, OT: Muhammad-Ali Abdur-Rahkman made a tiebreaking three-point play with 3.8 seconds left and finished with 17 points as Michigan held on in overtime.


The Wolverines (19-6, 8-4 Big Ten) needed the extra time to win because they struggled to shoot from the field and the line.

The Golden Gophers (14-11, 3-9) were in a position to end their longest losing streak of the year because freshman Isaiah Washington had a season-high 26 points and Nate Mason scored 22 points, including a 3-pointer with 5.3 seconds left that tied the game. Mason was just short on a shot from about 30 feet that would have forced a second overtime.



UC Davis 105, at Long Beach State 104 (2OT): TJ Shorts II made a three-point basket with 1.9 seconds to play in double overtime to lift the Aggies (16-7, 7-2 Big West Conference)after Deishuan Booker gave the 49ers (12-14, 6-4) a two-point lead with 6.9 seconds left. Shorts had 31 points. Gabe Levin had a school-best 45 points for the 49ers, surpassing the 43 points by Ed Ratleff against Pacific in 1972.

UC Irvine 63, at Cal State Fullerton 58: Tommy Rutherford had 17 points, 12 in the first half, for the Anteaters (11-14, 6-3 Big West). Austen Awosika led the Titans (12-9, 5-4) with 16 points. Jonathan Galloway had nine rebounds for Irvine, giving him 600 in his career.


at UC Santa Barbara 75, Cal State Northridge 51: Leland King II had 25 points and 17 rebounds to lead the Gauchos (18-5, 7-2 Big West), who set a school record with an 11-0 record at home to open a season. Tavrion Dawson had 16 points for the Matadors (5-18, 2-7).

at Portland 68, Loyola Marymount 66: Marcus Shaver Jr. made two free throws with two seconds left after Steven Haney tied the score for the Lions (7-16, 2-10 West Coast Conference) with two free throws with 13 seconds left. The Pilots (10-15, 4-8) have won four of their last six games.

Pacific 81, at Pepperdine 72: Miles Reynolds scored 22 points for the Tigers (12-13, 7-5 WCC), who beat the Waves for the third time in a row and won in Malibu for the first time since November 2009. Matthew Atewe had 14 points for the Waves (4-20, 1-11).