Madison Square Garden–St. Johns beat DePaul, 74-67, before a crowd of 6,636 for its first Big East win of the season. Mustapha Heron had 15 points and shot 3-for-6 on three-pointers to lead the Johnnies.
Heron missed three weeks with an ankle sprain and played outstanding in his first two games back and took it out on the Blue Demons.
The Blue Demons hung around (12-4, 0-3) for most of the first half, the Red Storm had a difficult (12-5, 1-3) time scoring in the first half. After starting out 6-for-17 from the field, they bounced back to finish the game shooting just over 40 percent.
“If he’s engaged and he’s doing the things that he’s been doing all his career, then I think it just kind of trickles throughout this team,” Red Storm coach Mike Anderson said. “It has a domino effect and guys shoot it with confidence.”
St. John’s (12-5, 1-3) snapped a three-game losing streak even though it went 0-for-7 from the floor in the final 6:03 in the game. The Johnnies’ last basket was Caraher’s layup, and they led 69-57 when he made the free throw.
The Blue Demons (12-4, 0-3) had a chance to make it a two-point game with 42.3 seconds left when Jalen Coleman-Lands was fouled on a trey with the score 71-66, but he missed two from the charity stripe and DePaul had to foul to get back into the game.
Rasheem Dunn cracked the starting lineup, replacing Julian Champagnie, and scored 19 points, eight rebounds, and five assists. Champagnie came off the bench to score 11 points and shoot 4-for-4.
The Red Storm forced 19 turnovers, turned them into 14 points and limited DePaul to 3-for-15 shooting from downtown.
Jaylen Butz scored 17 points for DePaul.
“When teams share the ball and move the ball and guys get it on time, good things happen,” Anderson said. “We played with a better rhythm today, trusted one another and didn’t care who shot the ball.”
The Blue Demons won the overall battle underneath and on second-chance points, scoring 26 points in the paint in the first half alone.
“They sped us up physically but, more important, they sped us up mentally,” DePaul coach Dave Leitao said. “We weren’t making the plays . and they got more confident as things happened for them.”