St. John's storms back to oust Indiana

St. John's accomplished one of the great comebacks in the history of the NCAA Division I Men's Tournament when it came back from two goals down with less than nine minutes to play and beat Indiana, 3-2, in overtime.

Goals from Swede Joel Gustafsson and Norwegian Sverre Wegge Gundhus -- his third game in a row with a goal -- each tallied goals for St. John's to force overtime, and Nelson Becerra won the game when he converted a penalty kick in the 95th minute minute.

"Indiana is a tremendous team and has many talented and physical players," said St. John's coach Dr. Dave Masur. "I am really proud of the way our guys played tonight to come back from a 2-0 deficit."

St. John's cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 82nd minute when Becerra sent a forward pass into the box and Gustafsson ripped a shot past goalie Chay Cain from close range.

In the 88th minute, St. John's evened the score when Costa Rican-born Walter Hines sent a cross into the box and past Cain when Wegge Gundhus collected the pass and quickly sent a shot into the open net.

Indiana had the first two chances of overtime as Neal Kitson saved shots by Eric Alexander and Kevin Noschang in the first two minutes of overtime.

The Red Storm won the game shortly thereafter when Cain stopped Ryan Soroka on a sharply angled shot but IU defender Ofori Sarkodie was issued a red card for using his hands to stop Hines' shot on the rebound. Becerra stepped up and ended the overtime session after only five minutes when he sent a low drive into the bottom left corner.

The win gave the Red Storm a 12-0-0 record this season at Belson Stadium.

The Hoosiers had gone up 2-0 on goals by Sarkodie in the 36th minute and Alexander in the 72nd minute.

Indiana coach Mike Freitag said the loss was a bitter pill to swallow.

"This is a good team," Freitag said. "They worked hard all season. We had this game in our grasp and let it get away. But I am so proud of my guys and what they accomplished this year."

GAME SUMMARY:
Dec. 6 in Jamaica, N.Y.
St. John's 3 Indiana 2. Goals: Gustafsson (Becerra) 82, Wegge Gundhus (Hines) 88, Becerra pen. 95; Sarkodie (Wilmarth) 36, Alexander (Kelly) 72.
St. John's -- Kitson, Clack, Reed, Gustafsson, Wegge Gundhus, Gonzalez, Terra, Quinn, Becerra, Punyed, Soroka. Subs: Chiduku, Ivo, Hines.
Indiana -- Cain, Balchan, Meyer, Sarkodie, Alston, Ring, Alexander, Mellencamp, Adlard, Noschang, Bruin. Subs: Ackley, Wilmarth, Hagedorn, Kelly.
Att.: 2,012.

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