Teams that beat Duke have reason to celebrate. Teams that blow Duke out of the building should be able to party all night.
So, how long will the St. John’s players be allowed to celebrate Sunday’s 93-78 victory over No. 3 Duke – a game that much more lopsided than the final score indicated?
“Coach Lav said we had two hours to celebrate and then we have to get ready for Rutgers,” senior forward Justin Burrell said, referring to first-year coach Steve Lavin and the Red Storm’s next opponent on Wednesday.
Two hours? It will take longer than that just to go over the highlights of the game at Madison Square Garden that St. John’s had won by halftime.
“I felt like we were ready. The guys wanted to play this game,” Duke guard Nolan Smith said. “We wanted to be here but they came out from the jump ball and kicked our butts.”
It wasn’t that St. John’s (12-8) beat the Blue Devils (19-2), it was the way it happened.
St. John’s was finishing a stretch of eight games against ranked teams. The win gave the team a 3-5 mark in that span. It aso gave the Big East a 6-1 record against nonconference foes ranked in the top 10.
Duke, which came into the game shooting 40 percent from 3-point range, missed its first 10 shots from behind the arc and made one of 13 in the first half, which ended with St. John’s in control, 46-25.
The Blue Devils were careless with the ball, committing 11 turnovers by halftime, one off their season average per game.
St. John’s had a lot to do with how poorly Duke played, using a three-quarter court trap to force the Blue Devils into passes that were stolen by St. John’s or just thrown away.
“It’s not an Xs and Os thing today,” Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said. “I felt we were not ready to compete, we had blank expressions on our faces and guys weren’t talking and that’s my responsibility.”
Dwight Hardy had 26 points for St. John’s, while Justin Brownlee had 20 points, nine rebounds and six assists and Paris Horne added 15 points and six assists. St. John’s shot 58.2 percent (32 of 55) and was 26 of 33 from the free throw line.
Smith led Duke with 32 points and Kyle Singler added 20.
At No. 25 Michigan State 84, Indiana 83 (OT): Draymond Green made the go-ahead shot with 29.3 seconds remaining and Hoosiers guard Jordan Hulls missed a long 3-point try just before the buzzer as the Spartans (13-8 overall, 5-4 Big Ten) held off Indiana (11-11, 2-7).
At Washington 64, Washington State 52: Kristi Kingma scored 29 points, including a 3-pointer with 3:16 to play that stopped a WSU surge, and the Huskies (8-10, 3-6 Pacific-10 Conference) held off the Cougars (5-16, 3-6).
Washington State has not beaten the Washington since 1995 and has not won in Seattle since 1993.
Kingma was 11 of 20 from the field, finished one point shy of her career high and added six rebounds.
April Cook led the Cougars with 11 points, and Jazmine Perkins had 10 points and eight rebounds.
Washington led 51-33 with 10:40 to play and seemed to be in command, but Washington State scored next 13 points, cutting it to 51-46 with 4:46 to play. Kingma then hit a 3 from the right side to put the Huskies back up by eight, and the Cougars never got closer than seven the rest of the way.
No. 1 Baylor 63, at No. 6 Texas A&M 60: Odyssey Sims scored 25 points and Brittney Griner had 17 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bears (19-1, 5-1 Big 12) hold off the Aggies (18-2, 6-1), who missed two late shots from 3-point range.
No. 5 Tennessee 72, at Arkansas 53: Shekinna Stricklen matched her career-high of 26 points to lift the Volunteers (21-2, 9-0 Southeastern Conference) past the Razorbacks (16-5, 4-5).
At No. 12 DePaul 78, No. 8 West Virginia 55: Keisha Hampton scored 16 points to lead five DePaul players in double figures as the Blue Demons (21-2, 8-0 Big East) routed the Mountaineers (19-3, 5-3).
At No. 16 Miami 84, No. 25 Georgia Tech 74 (OT): Riquna Williams scored 27 points and her Hurricanes (20-2, 6-1 Atlantic Coast Conference) outscored the Yellow Jackets (18-6, 6-2) 14-4 in overtime to pull away.