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Wednesday, February 6, 2013
Rapid Reaction: St. John's 71, UConn 65

By Kieran Darcy



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.