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SJU beats Notre Dame after Hoya loss

St. John's Jamal Branch (r.) drives past a Georgetown defender. Photo by Robert Cole
TimesLedger Newspapers

St. John’s spoke after a lopsided loss to Georgetown about how its basketball team needed to bounce back the same way the Hoyas did against them after their own dreadful defeat. It did just that.

The Red Storm followed one of its worst performances of the season with one if its best to upset No. 20 Notre Dame 67-63 in Big East men’s basketball at Madison Square Garden Tuesday night. It was St. John’s second win over a ranked opponent this season.

“We came out with intensity and we were very fierce,” guard D’Angelo Harrison said.

It was the 6-foot-3 sophomore’ block from behind of 6-foot-10 Tom Knight’s dunk attempt with less than 25 seconds left, which ultimately sealed things for St. John’s. JaKarr Sampson scored 17 points and Jamal Branch combined to make 3-of-4 free throws late to put the game away for the Red Storm (10-7, 2-3).

“He didn’t see me coming,” Harrison said of the block. “I went to contest the shot with two hands and got the ball.

It was a far cry from the lethargic performance Coach Steve Lavin’s team put on against Georgetown Saturday at Madison Square Garden. The No. 19 ranked Hoyas jumped the Johnnies early and never looked back in a 67-51 win following a 28-point home loss.

“I just think it was a dominating performance by Georgetown,” Lavin said after the Hoyas match. “We got taken to the woodshed in all aspects of play.”

The Red Storm’s offense was ground to a halt by a trapping Georgetown zone that focused on shutting off Harrison (7 points). St. John’s scored just 19 first-half points. It shot 35.6 percent from the field and 37.7 percent from the free throw line for the game. Georgetown went on a 20-2 run to push its lead to 33-10 with 6:33 remaining before halftime.

“We are very embarrassed by this,” St. John’s guard Sir ‘Dominic Pointer said.

Otto Porter paced Georgetown, which led by as much as 26, with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Markel Starks added 17 points. Branch paced St. John’s with 16 points and Sampson had 12.

St. John’s women rout Seton Hall: Shenneika Smith scored 18 points and Keylantra Langley tallied a career-high 16 in the Red Storm’s 72-46 win over Seton Hall at MSG.

Aliyyah Handford chipped in 14 points. It was a special day for St. John’s (8-6, 2-0) and especially Langley.

“It’s the world’s most famous arena,” she said. “You can’t really ask for more. All the greats have played here from [Michael] Jordan to Magic Johnson, so to play here is an honor.”

St. John’s used a 10-0 to open up and 24-15 first half lead and pushed it to as much as 27 points midway through the second half.

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