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Sunday, January 27, 2013
Rapid Reaction: St. John's 71, Seton Hall 67

By Kieran Darcy

What it means: St. John's is taking advantage of a soft part of its schedule, and shooting up the Big East standings.

The Red Storm won their fourth game in a row Sunday, defeating Seton Hall 71-67 at Madison Square Garden.

St. John's is now 13-7 overall and 5-3 in the Big East -- tied for third with Pittsburgh, trailing only Syracuse and Marquette. Seton Hall drops to 13-7 overall, 2-5 in the conference.

The turning point: Seton Hall opened on fire, making eight of its first 10 shots from the field and five of its first six 3-point attempts. The Pirates led for much of the first half, by as many as eight. But a late flurry by St. John's -- capped off by a D'Angelo Harrison trey at the buzzer -- gave the Red Storm a 38-33 lead at intermission.

St. John's opened the second half on a 13-2 run and took its largest lead, 51-35. But Seton Hall didn't fold. The Pirates came all the way back to within one, 60-59 with 4:22 remaining, and missed two open looks from beyond the arc that would have given them the lead. St. John's held on from there, thanks to a couple of clutch jumpers by Harrison down the stretch.

Star watch: Harrison finished with a game-high 24 points, shooting 6-for-13 from the field and 9-for-10 from the foul line. JaKarr Sampson added 19 points, 13 of them coming in the first half.

Eugene Teague had 22 points to lead Seton Hall, shooting 9-for-14 from the field.

Number crunch: St. John's -- the worst free-throw-shooting team in the Big East, and one of the worst in all of Division I (62.2 percent) -- made 15 of 20 on Sunday. Fortunately, Harrison shot half of that total.

What's next: St. John's hosts DePaul at Carnesecca Arena at 9 p.m. Wednesday. Seton Hall plays at Georgetown, 7 p.m. Wednesday.