Rapid Reaction: St. John's 71, UConn 65

February, 6, 2013

What it means: St. John's picked up an important win, with two tough road games coming up next.

The Red Storm -- coming off a loss at Georgetown, and playing at No. 9 Syracuse and No. 11 Louisville in the next eight days -- defeated Connecticut on Wednesday, 71-65 at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's improves to 15-8 overall, 7-4 in the Big East. UConn drops to 15-6 overall, 5-4 in the conference.

The turning point: St. John's dominated the first half, leading by as many as 15, 24-9. UConn cut it to 28-20 on back-to-back treys by Omar Calhoun, but a Marco Bourgault triple gave the Red Storm a 31-20 lead at intermission.

St. John's expanded the lead back to 15, 39-24, early in the second half. UConn went on a 15-1 run, tying the score at 44 with 9:38 left, and briefly taking the lead, 53-51, with 4:30 remaining. But St. John's didn't fold, instead scoring nine consecutive points from there to take control of the game for good.

Star watch: D'Angelo Harrison had his second rough game in a row, finishing with 11 points and shooting 3-for-12 from the field. Harrison did hit two clutch shots down the stretch to help seal the victory, though -- a trey to put the Red Storm up 58-53 with 2:57 to play, and a jumper to make it 64-59 with 51 seconds left. Jakarr Sampson led the Red Storm with 18 points.

Calhoun, a New York City native, scored a game-high 21 points for Connecticut.

Number crunch: UConn shot an abysmal 30.8 percent from the field (20-for-65). St. John's didn't shoot the ball well from the field either (21-for-55, 38.2 percent), but shot way above its average at the foul line (24-for-31, 77.4 percent).

What's next: St. John's plays Syracuse at the Carrier Dome, Sunday at 3 p.m. Connecticut plays at Seton Hall, Sunday at noon.
Kieran Darcy is an ESPNNewYork.com staff writer. He joined ESPN in August 2000 after graduating from the University of Pennsylvania, where he played four years of JV basketball.
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