CINCINNATI (AP) -- John Williamson had a season-high 25 points and 11 rebounds on Wednesday night, another big game that led resurgent Cincinnati to another breakthrough win, 60-43 over St. John's.
The Bearcats (12-12, 7-5 Big East) topped their win total from last season, when they went 11-19 during coach Mick Cronin's first season. Cronin has stabilized a program rocked by Bob Huggins' ouster.Urged by his coach to be more aggressive with the ball, the 6-foot-6 Williamson has started taking more shots inside. He had 22 points in a 72-68 overtime win at Rutgers on Saturday, and topped it with an 11-for-18 shooting performance.A miserable shooting night ended St. John's three-game winning streak. The Red Storm (10-13, 4-8) is second-to-last in the league in scoring at 64 points per game, and made only 12 field goals.Larry Wright had 14 points apiece for St. John's, which shot only 25.5 percent, its second-worst showing of the season.Forward Anthony Mason Jr., the Red Storm's top scorer at 13.5 points, missed his third straight game with a sprained left ankle. St. John's sure could have used him.Last season in Cincinnati, Mason had one of his most memorable games. He severely dislocated a finger on his left (non-shooting) hand in the second half, had it put back into place and heavily taped, then returned and made a 3-pointer and a layup that led to a 73-64 win.Without its versatile forward on the floor, the Red Storm had no one who could make a shot consistently. St. John's went only 5-of-22 from the field in the first half with nine turnovers.The Bearcats weren't much better, repeatedly missing open shots on their way to a 23-20 halftime lead. Guard Deonta Vaughn, Cincinnati's top scorer, couldn't get an open shot and went 0-for-5 in the half.Usually, Vaughn is the Bearcats' catalyst on offense. He had 13 points in overtime during a 72-68 win at Rutgers on Saturday.For the second game in a row, Williamson led the way. He opened the second half with a fadeaway jumper and scored off a pass under the basket, building the biggest lead to that point at 29-20. St. John's missed its first three shots and had a pair of turnovers to open the half.Vaughn finally made a shot, a long 3-pointer over Paris Horne, that put the Bearcats in control at 35-24. Williamson's fastbreak dunk off a pass from Vaughn made it 45-29 with 8:49 left, and St. John's never threatened.Vaughn finished with a career-low three points on 1-for-7 shooting.