NEW YORK — Dwight Hardy scored a career-high 33 and St. John's took command in the second half of an 89-72 victory over No. 10 Connecticut on Thursday, the Red Storm's fourth victory over a team ranked in the top 13 this season at Madison Square Garden.
Hardy was coming off a 32-point game in a loss to UCLA on Saturday.
"It's a great feeling to know we're putting on a good show," Hardy said. "I was in the zone, and when that happens, I kind of black out and the basket gets bigger and bigger. We were feeling it as a team."
D.J. Kennedy matched his season high with 20 points and had 11 rebounds for St. John's (14-9, 6-5 Big East), which added UConn to a list that includes then-No. 13 Georgetown, then-No. 9 Notre Dame and then-No. 3 Duke, all of whom are currently in the top 10. The Red Storm is 6-1 at the Garden, its second homecourt.
The Huskies (18-4, 6-5) had trouble with St. John's matchup zone, which trapped ball handlers repeatedly. They rarely attacked the basket, instead passing around the perimeter and usually settling for a rushed jumper.
The Red Storm closed the first half with two 3-pointers by Hardy and Malik Boothe, the second a 35-foot banker as the buzzer sounded for a 35-31 lead.
UConn coach Jim Calhoun went on the court complaining that Boothe walked before he shot. Calhoun got a technical foul, so St. John's started the second half with two free throws by Hardy, and Kennedy scored on a layup on the ensuing possession.
Dwayne Polee and Kennedy scored around four missed shots by the Huskies, and the Red Storm had a 43-31 lead two minutes into the half.
No. 23 Vandy 81, Alabama 77: Brad Tinsley hit an offbalance jumper with 17 seconds left and added the free throw as the host Commodores (17-6, 5-4 SEC) beat the Crimson Tide (15-8, 7-2). John Jenkins finished with a team-high 20 points for Vanderbilt, and Tinsley had 15. Alabama went in having won five straight, but it hasn't won in Memorial Gym since 1990.
Miami topples Maryland: Shenise Johnson scored 30 and the No. 20 Hurricanes (21-3, 7-2 ACC) upset the No. 12 Terrapins (20-4, 6-3) 83-75 in Coral Gables.
The Terrapins trailed by 14 at halftime but opened the second half with a 14-4 run. Kim Rogers' 3-pointer with 1:30 remaining trimmed Miami's lead to 77-75.
The Hurricanes responded with a 6-0 spurt. Riquna Williams scored, and Johnson made four free throws as Miami ended Maryland's seven-game winning streak.
Morgan Stroman scored 16 of her 20 in the first half as Miami built a 45-31 halftime lead.
No. 4 Tenn. 61, Florida 39: Shekinna Stricklen scored 17 and Glory Johnson had 16 to lead the host Vols (23-2, 11-0 SEC) to a sloppy victory. The Vols shot 33.3 percent in the first half and had five quick turnovers in the first five minutes. The Gators (14-12, 4-8) couldn't take advantage, going cold for nearly six minutes in the first half. Jaterra Bonds led Florida with 10 points.
No. 3 Stanford 100, WasH. St. 59: Nnemkadi Ogwumike scored 19 points and the Cardinal (21-2, 12-0 Pac-10) broke its conference record by winning its 49th straight vs. Pac-10 competition.
No. 11 Mich. St. 60, No. 23 Penn St. 49: Lykendra Johnson had a double double of 24 points and 12 rebounds, and the Spartans (21-3, 9-2 Big Ten) clamped down on the host Nittany Lions (20-6, 9-3) to take over first place in the conference. Mia Nickson had 22 points for Penn State, which was held to 31 points below its season average.
No. 13 UNC 60, Clemson 47: Italee Lucas scored 15 as the Tar Heels (22-3, 8-2 ACC) overcame a sloppy effort on the road to win their 16th straight vs. the Tigers.
S.C. 66, No. 15 Ky. 61: La'Keisha Sutton and Ieasia Walker each scored 17 and the host Gamecocks topped the Wildcats (18-6, 7-4 SEC), who had won seven straight before a loss to No. 4 Tennessee on Monday.
No. 18 Wis.-G.B. 81, Ill.-Chi. 50: Celeste Hoewisch scored 20, hitting six 3-pointers, for the visiting Phoenix (23-1, 12-0 Horizon), which won its 14th in a row.
Vandy 69, No. 24 Ga. 59: Jasmine Lister scored 22 and the Commodores withstood a late 17-2 run by the host Bulldogs (18-6, 8-3 SEC).