Burrell scores 22, St. John’s beats South Florida 72-58
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.