(9) Pittsburgh 50

(15-1, 4-1 Big East)

St. John's 55

(10-6, 3-2 Big East)

12:00 PM ET, January 21, 2006

Madison Square Garden, New York, New York

1 2 T
#9PITT 19 3150
SJU 31 2455

Top Performers

Pittsburgh: A. Gray 14 Pts, 9 Reb, 2 Ast, 1 Stl

St. John's: L. Hamilton 24 Pts, 8 Reb, 1 Ast, 2 Stl, 2 Blk

St. John's hands No. 9 Pitt first loss of season

NEW YORK (AP) -- The Red Storm did in Pittsburgh -- and did the Redmen proud.

St. John's Legacy Weekend
At halftime Saturday at The Garden, St. John's raised banners and honored 10 former coaches and players. In no particular order:

• Joe Lapchick: Helped break basketball's color barrier; member Naismith Hall of Fame

• Dick McGuire: Pure point guard; Naismith Hall of Fame; led school to 1944 NIT championship

• Mark Jackson: School's all-time assists leader

• Chris Mullin: 1985 Wooden Award winner; Golden State Warriors GM

• Tony Jackson: Two-time consensus All-American; one of school's best shooters, rebounders

• Lloyd "Sonny" Dove: One of two St. John's players to record 1,000 career points and 1,000 career rebounds

• Walter "The Truth" Berry: 1,424 career points in two seasons; Wooden Award winner

• Alan Seiden: "Pure shooter" amassed 1,374 career points; consensus All-American in 1959

• Malik Sealy: Second on the school's all-time scoring list with 2,402 points; first with 900 field goals

• Lou Carnesecca: Hall of Fame coach with 526 career victories, five postseason NIT championships, 18 NCAA Tournament berths

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.

"This was a perfect day. Nobody could have written a script like this," said Hall of Fame coach Lou Carnesecca, one of those honored at a halftime ceremony.

The Red Storm are getting used to winning against ranked teams, having beaten Louisville (No. 15 ESPN/USA Today, No. 17 AP) 68-56 on Tuesday, also at Madison Square Garden.

"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. His biggest moment of the day came in the locker room after the game.

"Chris Mullin came in and said he was very proud of us for representing the school the way we did," the junior center said of the school's all-time leading scorer. "That meant a lot and made a great day greater."

It was the first time the Panthers lost this season and it came in their third straight road game.

"I'm upset. I'm a basketball player and a competitor, a person who really doesn't like to lose," Pitt senior guard Carl Krauser said. "We are all upset. We just didn't want to lose."

The Panthers (15-1, 4-1 Big East) came into the day as one of three unbeaten teams in Division I along with No. 1 Duke and No. 2 Florida, both 17-0. Now, none are left. Duke lost, falling 87-84 at Georgetown, and Tennessee upset Florida 80-76.

The win was third in a row for St. John's (10-6, 3-2), 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. "Chris Mullin and Mark Jackson said it best. They talked about how these guys need to understand they are not only playing for their families and themselves, they are playing for the people that came before them, the tradition of this school."

After Hamilton's free throws gave St. John's the 53-50 lead, Krauser missed a 3-pointer with 6 seconds left and Phil Missere rebounded the miss and made two free throws with 4.3 seconds left for the final margin.

Hamilton said he wasn't thinking about else but the free throws when he stepped to the line.

"I told myself to breathe, relax and take my time," said Hamilton, a 57 percent free throw shooter. "We thought about the famous players and Pitt being unbeaten before the game but didn't once it started."

St. John's scored the game's first 14 points and held a 31-19 halftime lead as the Panthers shot 27 percent (7-for-26) and committed 12 turnovers.

"We dug ourselves a huge hole," Pitt coach Jamie Dixon said. "That many points when the game is only going to be in the 50s is a huge hole."

Pittsburgh used a 13-2 run to get within 37-34 with 12:47 left, and the crowd sensed the upset bid was about to end. But reserve Ryan Williams came up with two big baskets as St. John's answered with a 10-2 run that got the lead to 47-36 with 8:10 to go.

The Panthers still had one big run left in them and they scored 12 straight points to take their first lead, 48-47 with 2:39 left on a baseline drive by Krauser.

Eugene Lawrence and Aaron Spears each made one free throw around two missed free throws by Pitt's Levon Kendall and the Red Storm had the lead back for good with 1:55 to play.

Hamilton made a layup on a nice pass from Hill with 32 seconds left for a 51-50 lead and Aaron Gray got it back to one with a rebound basket with 13 seconds left.

"We were so impatient, rushing things offensively and that hurt our defense," Dixon said. "We improved in the second half but again that early hole was huge."

Dixon said the players hadn't been talking about being unbeaten.

"Honestly, they just wanted to win this game to win this game," he said. "We didn't improve today as we had all season."

Lawrence added 10 points for the Red Storm, who lead the Big East in points allowed at 56.7 per game.

Gray had 14 points and nine rebounds for the Panthers, while Krauser had 10 points. Pitt finished 19-for-54 (35.2 percent) from the field and committed just two turnovers in the second half.

Pitt was off to its second 15-0 start in the last three seasons. The Panthers started 18-0 in Dixon's first season. Pitt had won six straight road games and it had won seven of its last 10 games at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's honored former coaches Joe Lapchick and Carnesecca and former players Dick McGuire, Mullin, Walter Berry, Mark Jackson, Tony Jackson, Alan Seiden, Malik Sealy and Sonny Dove with "Basketball Legacy" honors, raising banners with their names at one end of the Garden.

Copyright by STATS LLC and The Associated Press


Team Stat Comparison

Points 50 55
FG Made-Attempted 19-54 (.352) 20-53 (.377)
3P Made-Attempted 3-16 (.188) 3-9 (.333)
FT Made-Attempted 9-14 (.643) 12-17 (.706)
Fouls (Tech/Flagrant) 19 (0/0) 20 (0/0)
Largest Lead 1 14

2005-06 Season

» Jan 21, 2006 @SJU 55, PITT 50Recap