TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Justin Burrell scored 22 points and St. John's rallied from a 16-point first-half deficit to rebound from its worst-ever Big East loss with a 72-58 victory over South Florida on Saturday night.
Three days after losing at home to Georgetown by 32, the Red Storm (8-12, 2-7) shrugged off another slow start to win for the first time in nearly a month despite playing the second half without leading scorer Anthony Mason, Jr.Mason's only basket finished a 17-1 run that erased USF's big lead. The 6-foot-7 junior limped off the floor 24 seconds after re-spraining his left ankle with the score tied 26-26 in the final minute of the opening half.Burrell made up for Mason's absence with 12 in the second half, when St. John's broke the game open with an 11-1 spurt keyed by D.J. Kennedy, who scored all 13 of his points in the last 8 minutes of the game.USF (10-13, 1-8) went without a field goal for the final 8:43 of the first half, then only made 9 of 26 shots after halftime.Dominique Jones led the Bulls, who have lost eight straight -- all in the Big East, with 22 points. Mobolaji Ajayi scored 12 and Kentrell Gransberry added 10.Larry Wright scored 17 on 7-of-8 shooting for the Red Storm. Malik Boothe finished with 11 points and 10 assists.St. John's shot a season-worst 21.3 percent in its 74-42 loss to Georgetown. The Red Storm went without a field goal for the first 15:27 of that game and looked like they might be headed for another disappointing night when USF raced to a 25-9 lead.Wrght's 3-pointer began a surge to close the half, and the Red Storm pulled even when Mason drove the right side for a layup. St. John's leading scorer was 1-for-5 and had 4 rebounds in 15 minutes.The Red Storm won for the first time since beating Cincinnati on Jan. 5.