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St. John's upends No. 20 Notre Dame

Feb 26, 2012 - 5:20 AM Queens, NY (Sports Network) - Moe Harkless scored 22 points to go with eight rebounds as St. John's snapped No. 20 Notre Dame's nine-game winning streak with a 61-58 wire-to-wire win over the Irish.

Alex Dragicevich had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer with a three- pointer from the left corner, but his shot was one of 27 misses for the Irish (4-of-31) from beyond the arc.

"I thought their defense really bothered us- it sped us up. We had some great looks, but we didn't make enough of them. You're going to have to make some more jump shots over the top of that zone to escape here today," Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey said. "...We actually did get it inside a little bit more to make a comeback. But eventually for us to win today, we were going to have to make some 3-point shots."

D'Angelo Harrison netted 15 points and Amir Garrett added 11 for the Red Storm (13-16, 6-10 Big East), who was 0-10 against ranked opponents this season coming in. St. John's has won three straight games.

"We're just growing every day and I think it shows out there. Earlier in the year we had trouble closing out games, as of late we've been doing a better job of closing games out," Harkless said.

Jack Cooley recorded his fifth double-double in his last six games with 18 points and 11 rebounds for Notre Dame (20-9, 12-4), which got just seven points from its starting backcourt of Eric Atkins and Jerai Grant. The Irish shot 37.9 percent from the field.

Notre Dame can still clinch a valuable double-bye for the Big East conference tournament with a win in one of its last two games. The loss moved the Irish a game behind Marquette for second place in the conference.

A pair of Harkless free throws, followed by Harrison's layup gave the Red Storm their largest lead at 14, 45-31, with 13:11 to play in the second half.

Notre Dame, though, mounted a charge.

The Irish had missed 10 consecutive attempts from three-point range until Grant rose up and knocked down a trey to cap an 11-2 run to pull the visitors within three, 55-52, with 4:54 remaining.

Cooley's offensive rebound and putback with 1:29 left pulled the Irish within a point, but Harkless' layup at the other end pushed the Red Storm lead to 59-56 with under a minute to go.

Atkins found Scott Martin for a layup off an inbounds play to make it 59-58, but once again St. John's had the answer as Garrett's floater in the paint made it 61-58 with nine seconds left.

St. John's backcourt of Harkless and Harrison combined to score 19 first-half points on 7-of-14 shooting from the floor as the hosts took a 31-25 lead into the break. The Irish were 3-of-17 from three-point range.

Game Notes

The Irish have dropped four consecutive games against the Red Storm at Madison Square Garden...Martin scored 18 points...Notre Dame was 1-of-14 from three- point range in the second half.