Erick Barkley scored 18 points, including the final five of the game for St. John's, and the 25th-ranked Red Storm snapped a two-game losing streak with a 61-57 victory over Rutgers last night at Madison Square Garden.
Lavor Postell added 16 points and nine rebounds for St. John's (13-4, 5-1 Big East). His free throw with 3:19 to play gave the Red Storm the lead for good at 56-55 and his block of a drive by Joel Salvi with 20 seconds to play and St. John's leading 60-57 sealed the victory.
After Postell's free throw, Barkley hit a foul line jumper with 2:45 to play and three seconds left on the shot clock. Salvi scored on a rebound with 1:19 left to bring the Scarlet Knights (11-7, 3-3) within 58-57.
Barkley, who was just 7 for 20 from the field, then hit a driving jumper with 28 seconds to play and the shot clock again in single digits. Postell made his big defensive play eight seconds later and Barkley closed it out with a free throw with 7.3 seconds to play.
St. John's overcame a 1-for-14 shooting start by closing the first half with a 10-1 run to get within 29-26.
Neither team led by more than five points in the second half.
INDIANA 85, MICHIGAN 50: The Hoosiers' defense never looked better. The Wolverines' offense never looked worse.
Kirk Haston had 19 points and 11 rebounds, including eight points during a 25-2 first-half run that carried Indiana to a Big Ten victory over the struggling visitors. LaVell Blanchard finished with 19 points and 13 rebounds for Michigan.
Michigan (12-5, 3-3) came in as the best-shooting team in the conference, but the Hoosiers (15-3, 5-2) applied constant pressure that held the Wolverines to a season-low 25 percent.
"It was about competing and executing and trying to do the things you practice every day," Michigan Coach Brian Ellerbe said. "We got off to a lackluster start--and from there on it was all downhill. I don't think it had anything to do with shooting. When you're playing bad you're going to shoot bad. So that's a crutch."