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Gates helps Bearcats get past St. John's

Jan 23, 2011 - 12:40 AM Queens, NY (Sports Network) - Yancy Gates tallied the game-winning three-point play with eight seconds left as No. 25 Cincinnati squeaked by St. John's, 53-51, in a low-scoring Big East affair at Carnesecca Arena.

Gates finished with 13 points and eight rebounds while Cashmere Wright notched 10 points for the Bearcats, (17-3, 4-3 Big East) who snapped a two-game league losing streak.

Dwight Hardy and D.J. Kennedy each totaled 10 points for the Red Storm (11-7, 4-4), who have lost four of their last five contests. Justin Burrell had seven points and 10 rebounds in the loss.

In the closely contested game, Cincinnati saw its biggest lead, 44-37, after Wright hit a three-pointer with 8:46 left to play.

But the Red Storm would come roaring back to tie the game at 46 just 2 1/2 minutes later following Kennedy's two free throw makes.

The game was tied once more at 50 with 3 1/2 minutes remaining on Malik Boothe's 1-for-2 showing at the free throw line right after Gates' dunk off of Rashad Bishop's missed layin.

With just under two minutes to play, Kennedy was fouled by Gates but only made one shot from the charity stripe giving them a slim 51-50 edge.

The game did not see a field goal the rest of the way out until Gates hit a turn-around bank shot with eight ticks left. He was fouled during the shot and made the clutch free throw to take the deciding lead.

"I have confidence in him," Bearcats head coach Mick Cronin said of Gates. "He was 3-for-3 from the foul line today. He did a great job on that play. He took his time and didn't settle. He got stopped, kept his dribble alive, turned to shoot then he stepped through, then he shot faked and got the foul."

St John's had a chance to tie or take the lead during the ensuing possession, however, Hardy's shot bounced off the back iron and Burell barely missed the tip-in as time ran out.

St. John's scored eight of the first 10 points of the contest, but Larry Davis' three-pointer tied the game at nine with 12:21 left to play in the first half.

The game remained tight, until Evan's three-point play with 6 1/2 minutes remaining gave the Red Storm a 21-13 lead. However, Cincinnati charged back by finishing the half with a 15-1 run. Davis' jumper as time ran concluded the spurt to take a 28-22 lead at the break.

Game Notes

With the win, Cincinnati ties the series at six game apiece...Both teams did not shoot well. Cincinnati made 42 percent of its shots, while St. John's only made 39.5 percent...The Red Storm scored 20 points off of 17 Bearcats' turnovers...Cincinnati shot just seven free throws, but made six of them..The Red Storm, though, made 12-of-26 from the stripe only good for a 46.2 percent showing.