Rapid React: St. John's 72, Notre Dame 54

January, 16, 2011

Recap | Box score | Photos

NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 72-54 victory over No. 11-ranked Notre Dame on Sunday afternoon at Madison Square Garden.

WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's improves to 11-5 on the season, and 4-2 in the Big East. The Red Storm end a two-game losing streak, and pick up their second win against a top 25 team in the past two weeks. They also get revenge on the Fighting Irish, after losing to them 76-61 last Saturday in South Bend.

Notre Dame drops to 14-4, and 3-3 in the conference.

SUNDAY SLUGFEST: This game was a knock-down, drag-out affair from the opening tip. St. John's led 26-19 at halftime, after 20 minutes of play that featured 29 fouls and 25 turnovers (14 of them by Notre Dame). Things opened up a bit offensively in the second half, but St. John's maintained control. The closest the Fighting Irish got was within six points, briefly.

D-FENSE! D-FENSE! The Red Storm won this game on the defensive end of the floor. Notre Dame came in averaging 77 points per game, and shooting 45 percent as a team from the field. On Sunday, the Fighting Irish scored 23 points under their average, shooting 16-for-39 (41 percent). (Going 19-for-32 from the foul line didn't help the Irish, either.)

St. John's looked determined on D from the opening minute of play, with active feet and very active hands in the passing lanes. The Red Storm forced 20 turnovers in the game.

BIG BENCH: Steve Lavin went 10-deep on Sunday (not including the two end-of-bench players that came in for the closing seconds), and several reserves made major contributions -- particularly in the first half, when bench players scored 16 of St. John's 26 points.

Malik Boothe, who began the season as a starter but has been hampered by a nagging hamstring injury, scored 14 points -- his first time in double-figures since the season opener at St. Mary's on Nov. 16. Malik Stith, who did not even get into the game in St. John's win over Georgetown a week ago Monday, had three points, two rebounds and three steals -- all three steals coming in the first half.

WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's tough January schedule continues -- the Red Storm will play at No. 17 Louisville on Wednesday night. Notre Dame hosts Cincinnati on Wednesday.
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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