Something had to give, whether it was Notre Dame’s nine-game winning streak or St. John’s two-game roll. It took the full forty minutes to figure out which it would be.
After Amir Garrett (11 points) put St. John’s ahead by three with nine seconds left; Notre Dame had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but a three-point attempt from Alex Dragicevich bounced off the left rim to give the Red Storm (13-16, 6-10) a hard-earned 61-58 victory over the 18th-ranked Fighting Irish. (20-9, 12-4)
“Give a lot of credit to St. John’s,” Notre Dame coach Mike Brey said after the game. “We had a lot of good looks, but didn’t make enough of them.”
In addition to Garrett, St. John’s was led by Moe Harkless (22 points) and D’Angelo Harrison (15 points) for their third straight victory, which also extended a streak of wins over Notre Dame at Madison Square Garden that dates back to March of 2004, before former coach Norm Roberts was even hired.
St. John’s will now head to Pittsburgh with their slim NIT hopes still intact, and with a few lasting impressions from this afternoon’s matinee.
- Moe Harkless picks up game ball honors, but he did not do it alone. Harkless and God’sgift Achiuwa were instrumental in containing the Notre Dame frontcourt through the opening half, and even in the first minutes of the second stanza.
- Notre Dame was defeated by their inability to hit the three-point shot that usually works well for them. For the game, the Fighting Irish missed 27 of the 31 trifectas they attempted, which allowed St. John’s to get a plus-7 defensive rebounding edge.
- Amir Garrett keeps improving on a nightly basis. Said his teammate Moe Harkless on the Los Angeles native: “When he gets going, it’s fun to watch.”
- Finally, each coach put the other over in their respective postgame press conferences, but no words made more of an impact than those spoken by Mike Brey in regard to the Red Storm. Below are some excerpts from the Notre Dame coach’s beliefs on St. John’s and their all-freshman lineup:
“The great thing about the St. John’s dynamic is that they play five freshmen and they start five freshmen because they only have six guys, and they all play 35 minutes a game. You’re only going to get better.”
“I think Mike Dunlap has done an unbelievable job. I can’t even relate to what he’s doing because I’ve always had seniors to lean on.”