St. John's tops Providence 86-76

The Associated Press

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) -- D'Angelo Harrison scored 22 points and JaKarr Sampson 21 as St. John's won for the fifth time in its last six tries at Providence on Tuesday, 86-76.

The Red Storm (14-9, 4-6 Big East) placed four players in double figures. Rysheed Jordan netted 13 of his 18 points in the first half while Chris Obekpa contributed 10 points and five rebounds.

Providence's Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 32 points on 11-of-25 shooting. The senior was 6 of- 0 from 3-point territory and handed out six assists. Kadeem Batts added 15 points for the Friars (16-7, 6-4).

St. John's jumped out to a double-digit lead within the opening 7 minutes of the first half. The Red Storm hit five of their first eight shots and later scored 10-straight points to take a 33-14 lead.

St. John's led by 19 at the 8:56 mark and went into halftime up 53-37. The Red Storm shot 61.1 percent from the floor in the half while Providence shot 36.8 percent.

The Red Storm continued to dominate, opening a 64-42 lead at 15:24 of the second half. That's when the Friars began mounting a serious comeback. A rare four-point play opportunity and conversion by Cotton - he was fouled on a 3-pointer in front of Providence's bench - helped jump-start 14 straight points for Providence, which moved to within 67-60 at the 8:59 mark.

The Friars closed to within six (69-63) after Cotton nailed his sixth 3-pointer, but two free throws and a jumper by Harrison helped push St. John's lead back to double digits.

St. John's finished shooting 50 percent, and out-rebounded St. John's 42-32, while the Red Storm turned the ball over just five times.

When the two original Big East rivals squared off last month on St. John's campus, the Friars came away with an 84-83 victory in double overtime. Entering Tuesday's game, Providence had won 14 of the last 18 matchups, dating to 2001.

The teams have met every year since the 1969-70 season. St. John's leads the all-time series, 58-44.

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