Harrison leads St. John's over San Francisco 81-57

JOE DePAOLO (Associated Press)
The Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- D'Angelo Harrison scored a game-high 18 points, on 5-of-8 shooting, to lead St. John's in an 81-57 rout of San Francisco Wednesday night.

In addition to stellar backcourt play from Harrison, the Red Storm (7-3) punished San Francisco all night on the interior. St. John's out-rebounded the Dons 35-24, including 15-6 on the offensive glass. Those numbers translated to quality looks, and St. John's took advantage - shooting 49.2 percent from the floor.

JaKarr Sampson scored for 14 St. John's, while Orlando Sanchez chipped in with 11 points and 6 rebounds.

St. John's closed out the first half with a 17-7 run in the final 7:14 to take control. They took a 43-31 advantage to the locker room, and never looked back.

Mark Tollefson led the way for the Dons (6-5) with 14 points. Kruize Pinkins added 12.

USF made 20 of 41 field goal attempts, but committed 21 turnovers.

St. John's was coming off of a tough defeat to No. 2 Syracuse Sunday at Madison Square Garden, a game for which the Red Storm had high hopes. The Dons proved to be made-to-order for St. John's - whose physical advantage was just too strong. A slam dunk by Sampson was the catalyst for St. John's. Leading 26-24 with 7:14 to go, Sampson's bucket propelled the Red Storm to a 40-14 run over the next 15:03. They cruised the rest of the way, pulling their starters liberally. No St. John's player logged more than 25 minutes.

The win was particularly sweet for St. John's head coach Steve Lavin, a Bay Area-native whose father Cap starred for the Dons more than six decades ago. Lavin's all-time mark at the on-campus Carnesecca Arena improved to 28-4 with the victory.

In addition to leading the way on the scoreboard, Harrison made two 3-pointers, which tied him with Willie Shaw at 151 - a school record.

But the story was the interior play. St. John's out-muscled San Francisco on both ends of the floor. Chris Obekpa blocked four shots for the Red Storm. He added 6 points and 7 rebounds.

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