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St. John's stuns Notre Dame

Jan 3, 2009 - 11:12 PM NEW YORK (Ticker) -- D.J. Kennedy scored 20 points Saturday as St. John's shocked 10th-ranked Notre Dame, 71-65, for its first Big East Conference victory of the season.

Kennedy, who also grabbed 10 rebounds, helped put away the win by converting four free throws in the final 15 seconds.

Notre Dame, which trailed for most of the second half, had pulled within 67-65 on Tory Jackson's 3-pointer with 17 seconds remaining.

"Notre Dame is one of the best teams in the country," St. John's coach Norm Roberts said. "They have two great, great players in (Kyle) McAlarney and (Luke) Harangody and I thought our guys withstood their push at us and made big plays. All our guys stepped up. It was a great team win."

The Red Storm (10-4, 1-0) snapped a three-game losing streak by exposing a glaring weakness for Notre Dame - a lack of rebounding strength.

St. John's hammered the Fighting Irish (10-3, 1-1) on the offensive boards to open an eight-point lead with just over eight minutes remaining. Paris Horne's layup capped an 8-0 spurt that gave the Red Storm a 58-50 edge.

St. John's outrebounded Notre Dame, 41-30, including a 15-12 edge on the offensive end which resulted in a number of second-chance points.

Harangody, who had another dominating game with 28 points and 14 rebounds, tried to rally the Fighting Irish, who seemed sluggish after a fast start in which they jumped out to a 15-7 lead.

Harangody scored nine of Notre Dame's next 12 points, but the Fighting Irish never could get the lead, missing two chances to go ahead.

With Notre Dame trailing, 61-59, Ryan Ayers' 3-pointer rimmed out with five minutes remaining.

Harangody banked in a short jumper from the baseline to pull the Irish within 63-62 with 2:26 remaining, and Notre Dame regained possession following an offensive foul on St. John's Sean Evans.

"Some of the moves (Harangody) he was making, I don't think anyone in the country could have stayed in front of him," St John's forward Justin Burrell said. "So it was a challenge every step of the way. You never know which way he is going to turn, he's big, but he's agile as well."

After Kyle McAlarney's 3-pointer from the top of the key went in and out, Horne's layup and Burrell's two free throws made it 67-62 with 39 seconds to play.

Normally a strong outside shooting team, Notre Dame made just 4-of-17 3-pointers. Ayers and McAlarney were a combined 1-of-9 from beyond the arc.

Kennedy pointed to Horne's defense for shutting down Notre Dame from the perimeter.

"Paris is one of our best wing defenders," Kennedy said. "Before the game I talked to Paris and told him, (McAlarney) was going to make some shots, but you just have to keep getting a hand in his face and make it hard for him. I think Paris did a great job of contesting all of his shots."

Burrell added 18 points and Horne contributed for 14 for the Red Storm, who overcame 18 turnovers.

Tony Jackson scored 14 points and McAlarney 10 for the Irish. However, Notre Dame's other starters - Zach Hillesland and Ayers - managed just four points apiece.

In Notre Dame's 92-82 win over DePaul on New Year's Eve, all five starters scored in double figures.