Playing in front of a sell-out crowd at Carnesecca Arena for the first time in two years wasn't even enough for St. John's, which has predictably slid back to the middle of the Big East pack as its schedule has stiffened.
The culprit this time? Poor free throw shooting.
Entering a 53-51 loss to No. 25 Cincinnati, the Red Storm were a 71 percent foul shooting team.
They overcame a six-point halftime deficit, but couldn't do enough to make up for a dreadful 12-of-26 showing at the line (or 46.2 percent, if you don't have a calculator handy).
Hardy came in shooting 90.7 percent from the stripe, and had a chance to back the Bearcats into a corner with 41 seconds left and the Johnnies up 51-50.
He missed the front end of a one-and-one, and the rest was just painful for the 5,602 in attendance to watch.Read More »from Missed free throws cost St. John's a win it badly needed