For the second straight game, the University of Cincinnati's leading scorer, Deonta Vaughn was held scoreless in the first half, but John Williamson was able to carry the load and lead the Bearcats to a 60-43 win over St. John's
After scoring a season-high 22 points against Rutgers Saturday, Williamson set a new season-high with 25 points on 11-of-18 shooting against St. John's. Williamson also hauled in 11 rebounds and blocked two shots in the game.
"We knew he could do it," Jamual Warren said. "It makes it easier for the whole team when he starts scoring like that."
Williamson credited his teammates for making it easier for him to get his shots.
We have a lot of scorers, Deonta, our freshmen and Jamual even," said Williamson. "They were really a threat earlier in the season, and now the interior is opening up for us I think because everyone is scouting our jump shots."
St. John's head coach Norm Roberts said he expected Williamson to be more aggressive than when the two teams met for the first time.
"We watched tape. We saw him being more aggressive and we saw what he did against Rutgers," said Roberts. "He did a good job, we knew he likes to go to his left and we knew he likes to face up and shoot, we just didn't do a good job of guarding him."
In the first half and the beginning of the second half, Williamson and freshman Larry Davis were about the only Bearcats who could score. After Warren scored the first basket of the game on a layup, Williamson and Davis combined to score 25 of the Bearcats' next 27 points.
Head coach Mick Cronin praised Davis for opening things up on the offensive end when his team struggled to score early in the game.
"St. John's defense was getting tighter and tighter in the paint," said Cronin. "I think Larry really opened things up and then allowed us to get John the ball where he could be more effective."
Davis ended up with 10 points on 5-of-7 shooting. Cronin said he thought the offensive spark Davis provided was huge for his
"I thought Larry Davis was the key to the game in the first half giving us four baskets and creating some offense when we were really struggling," said Cronin. "I told him when he came out of the game that he won the game for his team tonight."
With nine minutes to go and the Bearcats starting to play sloppy like the did in first half, Williamson provided the play of the game when he pulled down a defensive rebound over three defenders, took off dribbling, dished it to Vaughn and then threw down a thunderous ally-oop to put his team up 16 points.
Vaughn finished the game with just three points, which Cronin said was most likely due to fatigue. He said he hopes to give Vaughn some extra rest with their week off before the next game against South Florida.