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St. Johns slips by Creighton in first round

Mar 19, 2012 - 2:34 AM Norman, OK (Sports Network) - Nadirah McKenith's layup with 0.1 seconds left on the clock proved to be the difference as the third-seeded St. Johns Red Storm survived a scare, 69-67, from the upset-minded Creighton Blue Jays in the first round of the NCAA Tournament at Lloyd Noble Center.

McKenith finished with 21 points to lead St. Johns (23-9) which also got 12 points from Da'Shena Stevens while Shenneika Smith and Eugenia McPherson each had 10. The Red Storm will face off with sixth-seeded Oklahoma in the second round.

Ally Jensen paced 14th-seededCreighton (20-13) with 15 points while Carli Tritz DaNae Moore each added 14.

St. Johns led 34-32 at the half despite connecting on 12-of-25 shots from the field in the first twenty minutes which fell behind the 14-of-26 pace set by Creighton. The Red Storm's 9-3 advantage on points from the free throw line enabled St. Johns to enter the half with the lead.

After trailing for most of the second half Creighton finally managed to tie the game, 65-65, on a pair of free throws from DaNae Moore with 52 seconds remaining. Stevens then hit a pair from the charity stripe on St. Johns' next possession which was followed up by two Tritz foul shots to leave the game tied 67-67 with six seconds remaining. McKenith then took the inbounds pass and went coast-to-coast to sink the game winner.

St. Johns held a 34-24 advantage on the boards but turned the ball over a game-high 16 times. Creighton had 17 assists as a team and turned the ball over 14 times.