Thursday, February 7, 2013

St. John's gets 6th win in 7th, overcomes UConn surge

By Jason Schott - Daly Dose of Hoops contributor- @JESchott19
The St. John's Red Storm dominated early and withstood a UConn second-half run to win 71-65 at Madison Square Garden on Wednesday night. This is their sixth win in seven games. St. John's is now 7-4 in Big East play and 15-8 overall.
St. John's led by as much as 15 in the first half, and led 31-20 at halftime. JaKarr Sampson had 10 points, and Marco Bourgault hit three 3-pointers to contribute nine points in the first half.

UConn's legendary Head Coach Jim Calhoun (first row, left) was in attendance, as first-year Head coach Kevin Ollie looks on. Photo by @JESchott19.
 UConn had just two players score in the first half, as Omar Calhoun had 13, and DeAndre Daniels had 7.
St. John's came out strong in the second half, and led by 15, at 39-24, on a Sampson layup four minutes in.
Over the next six minutes, UConn went on a 20-5 run, led by Shabazz Napier who drained three 3-pointers. The Huskies tied the game at 44 on a Niels Giffey three-point play with 9:37 left.
St. John's was quick to respond, as forward Chris Obekpa hit two free throws and then a jumper to give them a 48-44 lead.
UConn had one more run in them, and a Ryan Boatright three-pointer tied the game at 51 with 4:57 remaining.
St. John's needed D'Angelo Harrison to step up, and he hit a three-pointer with 2:55 left to make it 58-53 St. John's. He then hit a jumper and had two free throws in the final minute to open up a 68-62 lead and ice the game.
St. John's was led by Sampson, who had 18 points on 7-for-15 shooting, with 6 rebounds and 2 assists. Harrison and Bourgault had 11 each. Phil Greene IV had 10 points and 6 assists. Chris Obekpa was limited to 13 minutes due to foul trouble, and had 6 points with 4 rebounds and 2 blocks.
UConn was led by Omar Calhoun, a native of Brooklyn who played at Christ the King. Calhoun had 21 points on  8-for-21 shooting with 5 rebounds and 3 assists. Shabazz Napier had 14 points, all in the second half, with 5 assists. DeAndre Daniels had 12 points, and Niels Giffey had 9 points and 10 rebounds.
WATCH St. John's Head Coach Steve Lavin Postgame Video:

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