Hill helps Arizona slip past St. John'sNov 18, 2011 - 6:52 AM New York, NY (Sports Network) - Solomon Hill scored 15 points, Kyle Fogg had 13 and No. 15 Arizona pulled away in the last four minutes to beat St. John's, 81-72, on Thursday night.
The Wildcats spoiled the season debut for St. John's at Madison Square Garden and advanced to the final of the 2K Sports Classic, where they will play Mississippi State on Friday.
Jordin Mayes added 12 points while Jesse Perry and Nick Johnson both scored 11 in the win for Arizona (4-0). Johnson made a couple of key three-pointers down the stretch.
"We've matured in every part of the game. You can really look out there and just see it on the floor," Fogg said. "Although we have a long way to go, I think we've taken a lot of strides at this point and we're going to keep working harder to get better."
Nurideen Lindsey scored 18 points to lead the Red Storm (3-1), who will take on No. 19 Texas A&M in the consolation match, also on Friday. D'Angelo Harrison added 16 points in the loss, Moe Harkless had 13 and Phil Greene scored 12.
Mississippi State beat Texas A&M, 69-60, in Thursday's first semifinal game.
St. John's had an eight-point lead with 7:17 remaining after Lindsey's layup made it 66-58, but Johnson buried a three-pointer at the other end to spark a 16-2 run by Arizona that turned the game around.
Fogg added a three and Perry scored four points during the surge, including a tip-in to end it for a 74-68 Wildcats lead with 3:10 remaining.
Two Harkless free throws cut it to four points, but Johnson responded with another key three-pointer and St. John's was never closer than five points in the last 2:25 of the game.
"Tonight we fought back and came up short in the end," St. John's head coach Steve Lavin said. "Hopefully tomorrow is another opportunity to show we can bounce back from a tough loss."
Arizona had a nine-point lead in the first half, but St. John's came back to take the lead. The Wildcats held a 44-41 advantage at the break on Brendon Lavender's three-pointer in the final minute.
It was the first-ever meeting between the teams, but Lavin collected six wins against Arizona when he coached at UCLA...The Red Storm lost despite shooting 51.1 percent from the floor. They committed 17 turnovers...Arizona shot 41.7 percent.
- ST. JOHN'S: 72
Nov 17 11:44 PM
- ST. JOHN'S: 41
Nov 17 10:30 PM
- ST. JOHN'S: 0
1st Half - 20:00
Nov 17 9:38 PM
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