HARTFORD, Conn. (AP)St. John’s did something Sunday it had not done in 35 years – beat UConn in Hartford.
Joel Soriano scored 19 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to lead the Red Storm (13-6, 3-5 Big East) over the No. 6 Huskies (15-4, 4-4), who have lost four of five after starting the season with 14 straight wins.
St. John’s scored 22 points off 21 UConn turnovers and outscored the Huskies 44-28 in the paint.
The double-double was the 16th of the season for Soriano. AJ Storr and Posh Alexander each added 14 points for the Red Storm, which has won two in a row after a five-game losing streak.
”This game proves a lot,” Soriano said. ”It shows what we can do when we’re together, when we’re connected. It just shows that when we’ve got our hats on, we do good.”
Dylan Addae-Wusu and Rafael Pinzon added 12 points each for St. John’s and and Andre Curbelo had 10.
Jordan Hawkins led all scorers with a career-high 31 for UConn, but 20 of those came in the first half. Alex Karaban had 16 points and Adama Sanogo added 14 points and 10 rebounds for the Huskies.
The game was tied at the half, but St. John’s scored the first two baskets after intermission and led the entire second half.
The Red Storm went up 68-60 on a break-away dunk by AJ Storr after UConn missed four shots that could have cut the lead to four points. That was part of a 9-0 run that put the Red Storm up by 13. They led by as many as 16 points with 2 minutes left.
”It’s a good day to be a Johnnie,” coach Mike Anderson said. ”I thought our guys had been trending in the right direction and today, we put 40 minutes together.”
The Huskies were up by as many as eight points in the first half before St. John’s fought its way back and after a 12-2 run went up 27-22. The teams traded leads the rest of the half and went into intermission tied at 38.
”Their program was a lot tougher than our program today and I didn’t see it coming.” UConn coach Dan Hurley said. ”We looked weak and unprepared. They were just way tougher.”
St. John’s: The Red Storm won at what is now the XL Center for the first time since Feb. 29, 1988 (77-62). The program earned its first road win over a top-10 opponent since knocking off Marquette 70-69 on Feb. 5, 2019.
UConn: The Huskies had won their first 10 home games and came into Sunday on a 15-game home winning streak. UConn, which had been ranked as high as No. 2 after its hot start, could tumble out of the top 10 with this loss.
”To be where we were a couple weeks ago and to be where we are today, there’s just a lot of frustration,” Hurley said.
The game was extremely physical, with 51 fouls called, 30 on UConn.
UConn’s Donovan Clingan and David Jones of St. John’s each picked up a flagrant foul for exchanging elbows after Clingan grabbed a rebound in the first half. St. John’s Posh Alexander and UConn’s Hassan Diarra chirped at each other later in the half, with each picking up technical fouls.
Sanogo got thrown out of the game for saying something to an official with less than a minute to go and Curbelo was tossed a few seconds later. Anderson said he did not get an explanation as to why.
St. John’s: The Red Storm host Villanova at Madison Square Garden on Friday.
UConn: The Huskies travel to New Jersey to face Seton Hall on Wednesday.
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