Madison Square Garden—Jordan Hawkins scored 20 points, both Andre Jackson Jr. and Joey Calcaterra chipped in 15 to help No. 18 Connecticut (22-7, 11-7) beat St. John’s (17-13, 7-12) 95-86 on Saturday afternoon at ” The World Famous Arena” in front of loud crowd of 12,241.
The Huskies hasn’t won the Big East Tournament since Kemba Walker donned the UConn uniform winning five games in five days in 2011.
UConn won for the sixth time in seven games, closing in on a first-round bye in the Big East Tournament.
The game went back and forth for the first ten minutes of the contest. At the 7:57 mark UConn was up by four (30-26) and went into break the Huskies took a 50-41 advantage.
In the first half, UConn shot 46.2% (18-39) from the floor and 37.5% (6-16) from beyond the arc. UConn found a way to get Hawkins going early and he made the Johnnies pay by knocking down shots down early and often.
David Jones scored 15 off the bench — all in the second half and Joel Soriano marked Senior Day with 12 points and 11 boards for his 22nd double-double this season, most in Division I history.
The Huskies scored the first six points of the second half on the blocks and opened the period with a 12-4 surge that gave the Huskies a 62-45 advantage with 13:31 remaining.
The Johnnies cut it to nine points with 9:32 left, but technical fouls on Dylan Addae-Wusu and Red Storm coach Mike Anderson led to four free throws by Hawkins over the next 5:10 that helped UConn upped its lead back to 15.
When Soriano fouled out with 3:02 remaining in the game, St. John’s were down by 12 and couldn’t get any closer.
AJ Storr scored 20 points with three boards. Posh Alexander chipped in 18 points for the Johnnies.
The Huskies out-rebounded the Johnnies 38-32 for the game.
St. John’s will travel to face Marquette on Saturday March 4th for an 2:00 P.M showdown.
UConn will be home to play DePaul on Wednesday March 1st for a 7:00 P.M. start time on CBS SN.