SEC/Big East Challenge 2012: St. John's sharp in victory, Seton Hall sloppy in loss

Anthony Gruppuso-US PRESSWIRE

The first night of the SEC/Big East Challenge featured a impressive St. John's victory and a disappointing Seton Hall loss.

A pair of local men's college hoops programs were close to earning victories Thursday night, but only one came out on top.

Behind a game-high 26 points from sophomore guard D'Aneglo Harrison the St. John's Red Storm cruised to a 89-65 victory over the visiting South Carolina Gamecocks at Carnesecca Arena.

The Johnnies (5-2) shot a season-high 57-percent from the field, 7-for-14 from behind the 3-point line, en route to its most complete effort of the season, according to the SB Nation blog Rumble In The Garden.

Sure, they weren't ultimately faced with a daunting challenge in the Gamecocks on Thursday night. But soon the Johnnies will be - and they'll need to do the little things to find success. On this night, they did almost everything well.

Sophomore forward Amir Garrett tallied 15 points and 11 rebounds for St. John's, which earned its third straight victory. Sophomore guard Phil Greene (13 points) and freshman forward JaKarr Sampson (11 points) each scored in double figures.

The biggest concern after the game, however, was the health status of South Carolina junior guard Brenton Williams, who suffered a neck injury with 13:34 to play in the game. Williams was placed in a neck brace, put on a backboard and taken to the hospital.

According to the South Carolina athletics website, Williams was released from the hospital and will return to his team.

Seton Hall commits 26 turnovers in loss

The Seton Hall Pirates led 64-63 with 2:39 to play, but a bevy of turnovers in the final minutes allowed the LSU Tigers to collect a 72-67 victory at Pete Maravich Assembly Center.

The Pirates (5-2) committed four of their 26 turnovers in the final two minutes of a game in which they out-shot the Tigers by nearly 10-percent (49 to 40). Seton Hall also tallied just three points in the final 3:46.

According to the SB Nation blog South Orange Juice, the Pirates' turnover woes have been a problem since the beginning of the season.

As noted on opening night, turnovers looked to be a problem for the Pirates. Tonight, the volcanic disaster that is Seton Hall’s inability to retain possession of a basketball that had been biding its time beneath the Earth’s surface blew its top somewhere in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.

Overall, Brandon Mobley paced Seton hall with 17 points, while center Gene Teague tallied 14 points and six rebounds. Forward Brian Oliver and guard Aaron Cosby each added 13 points. Cosby had a team-high six turnovers.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 64, Kentucky Wildcats 50: For the second straight season, Notre Dame knocked off a top-10 opponent at the Joyce Center.

Junior guard Eric Atkins scored a team-high 16 points for the Irish (7-1) who upset the No. 8-ranked Wildcats (4-2). Last season, Notre Dame defeated the then No. 1-ranked Syracuse Orange at home.

The Irish's lone loss this season came in a 79-70 overtime loss to St. Joseph's Hawks.

Florida Gators 82, Marquette Golden Eagles 49: Patric Young pieced together a stat-stuffing performance of 10 points, 10 rebounds, three assists and three-block to help No. 7 Florida blowout Marquette.

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