Rapid Reaction: Cincinnati 76, St. John's 54

February, 8, 2012
2/08/12
9:00
PM ET
NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 76-54 loss to Cincinnati on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: On a day when St. John's seven-man rotation shrunk to six after the departure of Malik Stith, the Red Storm played their worst game of the season and suffered their second straight defeat by more than 20 points.

The Red Storm beat the Bearcats 57-55 in Cincinnati on Jan. 7, but this game couldn't have been more different. St. John's falls to 10-14 overall and 4-8 in Big East play. Cincinnati improves to 17-7 overall, and 7-4 in the conference.

THE SKINNY: After the game was tied at 13, Cincinnati outscored St. John's 17-6 in the final 8:58 of the first half, taking a 30-19 lead into the locker room. Moe Harkless and D'Angelo Harrison scored just two points apiece in the first 20 minutes, shooting a combined 2-for-11 from the field.

After St. John's cut the margin to eight early in the second half, New York product Sean Kilpatrick started burying shots left and right for Cincinnati, scoring 10 straight points in one stretch for the Bearcats. This one was over very early -- Cincinnati led by as many as 27, and cruised to victory.

IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Harkless, who had scored in double figures in 20 of St. John's 23 games so far, finished with a season-low six points, making just 2 of 8 shots from the field. Harrison had a team-high 15 points, but shot just 4-for-13, and collected many of his points in garbage time.

NUMBER CRUNCH: Cincinnati was simply dominant on the backboards, outrebounding St. John's 49-29, including 16-10 on the offensive glass.. And St. John's shot just 19-for-58 from the field as a team (32.8 percent).

WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's travels to our nation's capital to take on No. 11 Georgetown on Sunday, tip-off at 1 p.m. at the Verizon Center. As of now, it's the Red Storm's final game against a ranked opponent this season. St. John's is 0-9 against Top 25 opponents.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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