Alexander’s 29 points leads West Virginia to 83-74 overtime win over St. John’s
NEW YORK (AP)—Joe Alexander scored seven of his 29 points in overtime and West Virginia beat St. John’s 83-74 on Saturday.
Alexander, who was coming off consecutive 32-point performances against Connecticut and Pittsburgh, gave the Mountaineers (22-9, 11-7 Big East) the lead for good with the first five points of the overtime.
West Virginia, which will be seeded either fifth or sixth in next week’s Big East tournament, tied it at 68 on Joe Mazzulla’s length-of-the-court drive and layup with .3 seconds left in regulation.
Larry Wright had a career-high 20 points, all but two on 3-pointers, and Anthony Mason Jr. had 17 points for the Red Storm (11-19, 5-13), who lost seven of their last eight games of the season. It will be the fourth time in the last five seasons St. John’s doesn’t qualify for the Big East tournament.
Da’Sean Butler had 18 points and 10 rebounds and Alex Ruoff added 15 points for the Mountaineers, who have four of five.
Freshman Malik Boothe, a 64 percent free-throw shooter, made two foul shots with 5.5 seconds left in regulation—his only points of the game—to give St. John’s a 68-66 lead.
Mazzulla, who finished with six points, then tied the game, dribbling past four St. John’s defenders without being touched to get to the hoop for the layup.
West Virginia scored the first seven points of the overtime. The Red Storm hurt themselves by missing five of seven free throws in the extra session and went 7-for-18 from the line for the game.
Alexander, who had his career high for points in the last two games, finished 13-for-15 from the free-throw line and grabbed 10 rebounds.
The Mountaineers swept the Red Storm this season, beating them 73-64 on Jan. 17.
St. John’s finished the season 1-6 at Madison Square Garden, including 0-5 against Big East opponents.