NEW YORK -- Pitt senior Tray Woodall scored a season-high 25 points to lead the No. 20 Panthers past St. John's, 63-47, this afternoon at Madison Square Garden.
Pitt (21-7, 9-6) snapped a two-game losing streak and moved into a tie with Villanova for seventh place in the Big East Conference standings. St. John's (16-11, 8-7) fell into ninth place.
Woodall scored his most points in a game since racking up 24 against Duquesne on Dec. 5. He hadn't scored more than 14 points in a game since then, a span of 18 games.
Pitt took the early lead and led 30-27 at halftime. St. John's scored the first four points after halftime and took its first lead of the game, but Woodall quickly reestablished control for the Panthers when he scored six consecutive points, three via a 3-pointer and another on a three-point play, to give Pitt a 40-35 lead it would not relinquish.
The Panthers had a seven-point lead twice in the first half before St. John's climbed back in the game, mostly due to some Pitt mistakes. The Panthers committed six turnovers in the first half, including four from Lamar Patterson, and allowed St. John's to cut the lead to one twice in the final two minutes of the half.
Talib Zanna made two free throws with 10 seconds left to give the Panthers their three-point bulge lead at the intermission.
Pitt shot 46 percent from the field in the first half and St. John's 37 percent.mobilehome - breaking - pittsports
Ray Fittipaldo: email@example.com and Twitter @rayfitt1.