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Dwight Hardy scored a career-high 33 points as St. John's took an 89-72 victory over No. 9/10 Connecticut on Thursday night, the Red Storm's fourth win over a top-13 team this season at Madison Square Garden.
D.J. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds for St. John's (14-9, 6-5).The Huskies (18-4, 6-5) were led by Roscoe Smith, who had 16 points, but Connecticut shot just 24-of-65 from the floor. Guard Kemba Walker added 15 points on 4-of-16 shooting.
The Red Storm closed the first half with two 3-pointers by Hardy and Malik Boothe, the second a 35-footer banker from straight on as the buzzer sounded for a 35-31 lead. Dwayne Polee II and Kennedy scored around four missed shots by the Huskies and the Red Storm had a 43-31 lead 2 minutes into the half.
The lead grew to 24 points, 69-45, on Hardy's third 3-pointer in a 5-minute span -- and he also had two traditional three-point plays in the run. The 89 points were the most allowed this season by Connecticut.
Saturday features five BIG EAST matchups, including three on the ESPN family of networks. The GameDay crew invades Villanova for a matchup between the Wildcats and Pittsburgh at 9 p.m. Eastern. Syracuse visits Louisville at noon Eastern also on ESPN. On ESPNU at 7 p.m. Eastern, Rutgers hosts Seton Hall. Two other games include Notre Dame at USF at noon and DePaul at West Virginia at 4 p.m.