Saturday, February 18, 2012

St. John's beats UCLA to snap 4-game losing streak

D'Angelo Harrison scored 22 points and Phil Greene made a huge rebound with 6.5 seconds to play but it was Sir' Dominic Pointer's crowd-pleasing dunk that set the tone as St. John's defeated UCLA 66-63 on Saturday  at Madison Square Garden.

Pointer's dunk with 13:16 left seem to invigorate the Red Storm and got the home crowd into the game.

"Climbing the imaginary ladder" as CBS announcer Ian Eagle called Pointer's jam.

St. John's (11-16) snapped a four game losing streak and the win might be called sweet revenge for last year's loss at UCLA.  The California school was Red Storm head coach Steve Lavin's former team.

Lavin, who is still recovering from prostate cancer, watched the game from a suite high above the Garden floor.

In an interview with CBS, the smiling Lavin said he is taking the recovery "week-to-week and is still focusing on recruiting."

"I come in to watch films with the players," he said.  "I will be back next year."

The head coach discussed his long absences from the team and said,"We try to have a meal with them every week and get them to spend time with my wife.  She's more inspiring than I am in terms of their spirits."

Lavin coached UCLA for seven seasons and took them to the NCAA tournament six times.  He took over at St. John's last year and led the team to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002.

UCLA (15-12) had too many turnovers and couldn't keep up with St. John's athleticism. 

Pointer finished the game with 13 points and seven rebounds while Moe Harkless had 10 points and 12 rebounds for the Johnnies.

Linsanity seems to have rubbed off on the Red Storm.  They Sir-tainly looked like a better team today.

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