Behind senior guard Dwight Hardy's team-best 26 points and a 20-8 first half run Sunday afternoon, the St. John's Red Storm upset No. 3 Duke Blue Devils, 93-78, in a non-conference contest at Madison Square Garden. St. John's snapped its seven-game losing streak to Duke (19-2, 6-2 ACC), which hadn't lost to the Red Storm (12-8, 5-5 Big East) since March of 2003. Duke became the fifth Top-10 team to be upset this weekend -- No. 5 Connecticut Huskies, No. 7 Villanova Wildcats, No. 9 BYU Cougars and No. 10 Syracuse Orange all lost on Saturday.
Hardy netted 12 first-half points to help the Johnnies take a 46-25 lead into halftime. Duke began the game with a 4-0 advantage but St. John's responded with a 20-8 run, helped by eight points from Hardy, to take a 20-12 lead with 8:54 to go in the half. The Johnnies then outscored Duke 26-13 to take a 21-point lead into the half. For much of the second half, St. John's kept a 20-point advantage until Duke made a 10-2 run to make it 77-62 with about four minutes remaining. Duke used a barrage of late 3-pointers to cut the margin down to 11 points with about a minute to go but couldn't complete the comeback.
From the opening tip, St. John's used a full-court press that held the Blue Devil's 3-point shooting (5-of-26) in check. Duke, who missed its first nine 3-pointers, finally nailed a three with just over four minutes to play in the first half. The Blue Devils finished the first half 1-of-13 from 3-point land. Duke also turned the ball over 17 times.
Senior forward Justin Brownlee added 20 points and 8 rebounds for St. John's, which shot 32-of-54 from the field (59.3 percent) and 3-of-5 from behind the 3-point arc. Senior guard Paris Horne chipped in with 15 points and seven assists. Senior guard Nolan Smith scored a game-best 32 points for Duke.
The St. John's basketball schedule has the Red Storm hosting the Rutgers Scarlet Knights on Wednesday (9 p.m.) and then traveling across the country to play at the UCLA Bruins on Saturday (1 p.m.).