Rapid Reaction: St. John's 69, USF 54

February, 20, 2013
What it means: St. John’s took care of business against the worst team in the Big East.

In the final game of the season at Carnesecca Arena, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,602, the Red Storm defeated South Florida, 69-54. St. John’s improved to 16-10 overall, 8-6 in the Big East. The Bulls dropped to 10-16 overall, 1-13 in the conference.

The Red Storm entered play Wednesday as the No. 3 team on the outside looking in, according to ESPN NCAA tournament bracketologist Joe Lunardi. A home win against last-place South Florida won’t boost the résumé a whole lot, but a loss Wednesday night would have been a major black eye.

The turning point: St. John’s scored the first eight points of the game, led by as many as 18 in the first half, and led 33-17 at intermission. South Florida is one of the worst offensive teams in all of Division I statistically, and the Bulls certainly looked the part (see below).

St. John’s opened the second half on an 8-2 run, taking its largest lead, 41-19, with 15:47 left in the game. South Florida didn’t fold, closing to within nine, 59-50, with 1:25 to play. But the Red Storm put the Bulls away from there.

Star watch: Jakarr Sampson and D’Angelo Harrison carried the scoring load, as usual, for St. John’s. Sampson had a game-high 20 points, while Harrison added 18. Sir'Dominic Pointer had a great all-around game (12 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists).

Victor Rudd had a team-high 18 points for South Florida.

Number crunch: South Florida shot 21-for-57 from the field (36.8 percent), 9-for-28 from beyond the arc (32.1 percent) and 3-for-12 from the foul line (25 percent).

What’s next: St. John’s plays No. 20 Pittsburgh at Madison Square Garden, 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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