Rapid Reaction: St. John's 79, DePaul 72
February, 20, 2012
By Kieran Darcy | ESPNNewYork.com
Recap | Box score
NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 79-72 win over DePaul on Monday night at Carnesecca Arena.
WHAT IT MEANS: It wasn't easy (see below), but St. John's picks up its second win in a row, and its fifth Big East win of the season. The Red Storm are now 12-16 overall, 5-10 in conference play, after sweeping their home-and-away series with the Blue Demons.
DePaul drops to 11-16 overall, 2-13 in the conference.
THE SKINNY: In a topsy-turvy first half, the lead changed hands 10 different times -- including in the final second. D'Angelo Harrison's trey as time expired made it 37-35 St. John's at intermission. Harrison had 12 first-half points for the Red Storm, while Cleveland Melvin had 10 for the Blue Demons.
Harrison opened up the second half with another 3-pointer, and St. John's took its largest lead, 52-43, with 14:16 remaining. But DePaul responded with a 15-5 run, taking a 58-57 lead on an alley-oop with 8:39 left. The Red Storm quickly retook the lead, but couldn't close out the Blue Demons until the final minute. With the score 75-72, Jamee Crockett missed a potential game-tying 3-pointer with 40 seconds left, and St. John's finished it off from there.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: On Saturday, Sir'Dominic Pointer turned in arguably his finest performance of the season. On Monday, it was Amir Garrett's turn. The freshman swingman who only joined the team in December had a career-high 18 points and nine rebounds, in his 18th game with the squad.
Harrison finished with a game-high 23 -- his 11th 20-point game of the season, and seventh in the past 10 games. Melvin led DePaul with 18 points.
NUMBER CRUNCH: St. John's had a big advantage at the foul line, making 25 of 36 free throws, while DePaul shot just 21 (making 16 of them). Also, the Blue Demons had 18 turnovers, while the Red Storm had just 11.
WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's, 0-10 against ranked opponents this season, gets one last crack at a Top 25 win in the regular season -- No. 18 Notre Dame will be at Madison Square Garden on Saturday, tip-off at high noon.