St. John's 69, South Florida 54: JaKarr Sampson had a game-high 20 points and seven rebounds to lead the host Red Storm past the Bulls.D'Angelo Harrison chipped in 18 points, including four 3-pointers, Sir'Dominic Pointer had 12 points, 10 rebounds and six assists, and Marco Bourgault added 10 points for St. John's (16-10, 8-6 Big East), which improved to 12-3 at home. Red Storm coach Steve Lavin returned after missing two games following the death of his father.Victor Rudd had 18 points and 11 rebounds, his sixth double-double this season, to lead South Florida (10-16, 1-13), which extended its losing streak to nine games and has lost 13 of 14. The other four starters combined for 19 points for the Bulls, who are in last place in the Big East and fell to 2-8 on the road.St. John's, which never trailed, jumped out to a 14-2 lead and extended it to 33-17 at halftime. Trailing by as many as 22 points in the second half, South Florida cut it to 59-50 with 1:28 left but St. John's held on.South Florida outrebounded St. John's 35-33 but the Bulls shot 36.8 percent from the field to the Red Storm's 45.3-percent shooting. St. John's improved to 7-2 in the series against South Florida.GAME NOTEBOOK: There was a coach Lou Carnesecca bobblehead doll giveaway to the first 4,000 fans and at halftime a presentation recognizing more than 50 Red Storm basketball alumni. … South Florida's nine-game losing streak is its longest since a 10-game skid in coach Stan Heath's first season (2007-08). … St. John's freshman F Chris Obekpa, who leads the Big East in blocked shots (4.2), had two of the Red Storm's four.