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St. John’s loses heartbreaker to Ohio State

With the seconds ticking away, St. John's finally got the ball to Erick Barkley, the team's sophomore point guard and the one player everyone in Madison Square Garden wanted to have the ball. Trailing by one point to the No.-13 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes, Barkley took aim and fired just as the final buzzer sounded.

To make the basket would have been sweet justice for Barkley, who was clearly fouled as he drove the lane against this same Buckeye team last March in the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament on a play that would have pulled St. John's back from the brink. But that foul was never called.

Fate was not on Barkley's side again, as Penn hurled himself through the air and blocked his shot clean, completing a miraculous comeback for Ohio State, as well as an incredible collapse by St. John's, which led by 10, 64-54, with 2:49 remaining.

"Any loss is hard, especially in the last two minutes," Barkley said after the game. "I knew there were a couple of seconds left. I tried to get the ball up as quickly as possible. I did not hesitate."

Ohio State coach Jim O'Brien admitted that for 38 minutes of Saturday's contest, his club had no business winning the game. St. John's did just about everything right through those 38 minutes and seemed on the way to another upset win over a top 25 team.

With Barkley playing solid throughout and Bootsy Thornton finally showcasing the long-range shot that scored 40 against Duke last year, the Red Storm had the St. John's faithful rocking at the Garden.

After falling behind 17-9 following a Slobodan Savovic three-pointer with 10:15 remaining in the first half, St. John's came alive. A basket by Chudney Gray followed by free throws from Barkley, Thornton and Gray and a field goal by Anthony Glover - his only one of the game -

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