Ashton Gibbs and Gary McGhee scored key baskets to start a game-ending 9-1 run and host Pittsburgh overcame some poor shooting and a large rebounding disparity for a 63-53 victory over St. John's last night.
Brad Wanamaker scored 16 points, Gibbs added 14 and McGhee scored eight of his 10 in the second half as the Panthers (16-4, 6-2 Big East) rallied from a six-point deficit to end their first two-game skid in nearly two years.
"It's the Big East. Everybody's coming back. There's no lead that's safe, especially playing on somebody's home court," Red Storm coach Norm Roberts said. "They're a very good defensive team and they made some big shots. Shots they didn't make in the first half they made in the second half."
Justin Burrell scored 14 points and Dwight Hardy had 12 despite shooting 3-for-10 for St. John's (12-8, 2-6), which lost its seventh in 10 games.
The Red Storm trailed 54-52 after D.J. Kennedy's two free throws with 1:56 to play. But Gibbs hit a 15-footer to put Pitt ahead by four and, after Burrell drew an offensive foul, McGhee dunked with a minute remaining to make it 58-52.
The Red Storm outrebounded Pitt 41-31 but shot 30.6 percent (27-for-88). - AP