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West Roundup : St. John's Knocks Off Southern

March 15, 1985|From Times Wire Services

Sophomore forward Walter Berry scored 24 points, Bill Wennington had 23 and Chris Mullin got 21 as St. John's opened NCAA tournament play with an 83-59 first-round victory over Southern University in the West Regional at Salt Lake City Thursday.

Berry also had a game-high 13 rebounds, while Wennington had eight. Mullin led all players with six assists.

Coach Lou Carnesecca praised the Redmen's defense, which he said "was the best we've played in quite a while. We were a little tentative out there at first, a little tight, but now that the first game is under our belts, we'll be OK."

St. John's (28-3) had a height advantage over the Jaguars (19-11), and the 7-foot Wennington took advantage of it to score seven of his team's first 10 points en route to an early lead.

"The difference was Wennington and Berry. They can hurt you in so many ways," Southern Coach Bob Hopkins said.

In other first-round games at Salt Lake City Thursday, Arkansas defeated Iowa, Kentucky beat Washington and Nevada Las Vegas downed San Diego State.

St. John's will play Arkansas in Saturday's second round, while Kentucky will face UNLV.

Arkansas 63, Iowa 54--Center Joe Kleine scored 15 of his game-high 25 points in the second half and grabbed 14 rebounds to lead the Razorbacks to a come-from-behind victory over the cold-shooting Hawkeyes.

The 6-11, 250-pound Kleine, who held Iowa's top scorer Greg Stokes to 14 points before he fouled out of the game, dominated the backboards and ignited an eight-point surge that gave the Razorbacks a 52-44 margin with 6:07 remaining.

Arkansas (22-12), which trailed, 33-26, at the half, out-rebounded the Hawkeyes, 14-3, in the first 14 minutes of the second half to take control of the game.

"They shot so well in the first half and did a terrific job on the boards that they got a big lead," Arkansas Coach Eddie Sutton said. "In the second half, I think our man defense wore them down and probably affected their shooting."

Iowa (21-11), which had beaten Arkansas, 71-52, earlier in the season, shot only 42% for the game, 31% in the second half.

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