Storm find no shelter

The St. John’s men’s basketball team came home after a blowout loss to Louisville looking to get back on track.

But even though the Red Storm didn’t  have an outing as poor as its 25-turnover performance against the Cardinals, they still fell to No. 25 Cincinnati (17-3, 4-3), 53-51 before a sellout crowd of 5,602 at Carnesecca Arena, in the first of a home-and-home series with the Bearcats.

“We always want to come out and perform at a high level at home in front of the fans so they come out and support every night out,” senior guard Dwight Hardy said. “We don’t look at it as a disappointment. We always come to the game feeling that we should win the game. Being that we didn’t, we know that we play them again and for us to win up there on the road, it will be an equal opportunity to get them back, just to get them back.”

The teams traded leads nine times over the course of the game and five times in the final seven minutes.

But with eight seconds remaining in the game, Bearcats forward Yancy Gates made a bank shot over Justin Burrell that gave the Bearcats the lead for good.

“They were denying and taking us out of our offense so I wanted to go to something where we could get the ball close to the basket by giving it to Yancy Gates as tight as we could close to the rim,” Cincinnati head coach Mick Cronin said.

Cronin said he wanted to use a play that would only require one pass.

“Rashad Bishop did a great job in getting Yancy the ball and he did a good job taking his time to get the shot off,” Cronin said. “I think Justin Burrell stopped him three times on that play, but Yancy refused to settle for a jump shot or any type of fadeaway. It was a great individual play by Yancy in that situation.”

St. John’s (11-7, 4-3) shot close to 40 percent from the field but just 46 percent from the free throw line, a

12-for-26 clip.

The Red Storm had an opportunity to extend its 51-50 lead with eight seconds left when Dwight Hardy was sent to the line, but the senior missed the front end of the one-and-one.

“I’m a 90 percent free throw shooter,” Hardy said. “I should have made the shot. Unfortunately I missed it short. Next time I know I’ve just got to get more legs into it and I’ll be fine.”

“I think we’re shooting at a good percentage in the league in free throws anyway. For us to come out and shoot 12-for-26, I just think our concentration needs to be up more and we just need to be more flexed at the line and just settle down and knock them down.”

St. John’s forced 17 turnovers against Cincinnati and scored 20 points off turnovers. Hardy and senior guard D.J.

Kennedy tied for the team-high 10 points.