The 8-5 St. Johns Red Storm entered 5/3 Arena on a two game losing streak, just days after a heartbreaking overtime loss at Villanova. The young St. Johns roster, which features 3 sophomore and 2 freshman starters, showed off their short term memory as they came into Cincinnati with a strong and gritty effort.
St. Johns took a 24-21 halftime lead after starting the game with no field goal for the first 5:51. Cincinnati had a 10-4 lead at one point, but St. Johns closed the half on a 20-11 run to go up at half.
Cincinnati and St. Johns both displayed horrible offense in the first half as they each had over ten turnovers. Despite holding D’Angelo Harrison to 2 points on 1-6 shooting, Cincinnati still found themselves behind at half because of Jakarr Sampson’s stellar 10 point effort.
Cashmere Wright had 13 of the Bearcats’ 21 points with three 3 pointers. No one else had over one field goal made.
The second half displayed an even uglier performance from Cincinnati. St. Johns opened up the half on a 12-3 run to take a 36-24 lead with 14:12 left in the half.
Cincinnati seemed poised to make a comeback multiple times in the second half, but every time they creeped within 5, St. Johns responded.
The Bearcats made their final stand and actually took a one point lead, but D’Angelo Harrison responded again with a 2 point dagger to bring his total to 15 points.
Titus Rubles missed a go-ahead jumper with less than 10 seconds remaining. St. Johns missed the following free throw which set up a last second half court heave for Wright who was just short. St. Johns finished off the Bearcats 53-52 for the second time in as many years at 5/3 Arena.
Cashmere Wright had 5 threes and scored 23 points while Rubles also added an efficient 14. Wright also had 10 rebounds and his first double-double of the season. No other Bearcats scored in double figures. Jaquon Parker, Cheikh Mbodj, and Sean Kilpatrick combined for 5-29 from the field, only scoring 13 points. Jakarr Sampson finished with 16 while D’Angelo Harrison had 15 for the Red Storm. Chris Obekpa had a very strong 6 point game with 9 rebounds, 3 blocks, and 2 steals.
Cincinnati now looks to Monday, where the No. 21 Notre Dame Fighting Irish will come to town and try to be the third team to knock off the Bearcats at home this season.