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UConn Storms Back, But Falls To St. John's At MSG

A rough first half.

Score: St. John's 71, UConn 65

Stars: UConn:Omar Calhoun 21 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast. St. John's: Jakarr Sampson 18 Pts, 6 Reb.

Story: If the UConn men's basketball team only had to play the second half and an overtime period and were not banned from the NCAA Tournament this year, they would probably be in the running for a No. 1 or No. 2 seed right now.

Sadly for UConn – and everyone who watches UConn – the first half is something that will not go away, and the Huskies' first half play cost them on Wednesday as they fell to St. John's on Wednesday night.

Any changes that Coach Kevin Ollie wanted to see out of his team after Sunday's near-disaster against South Florida clearly were not demonstrated in the first half. The Huskies went into the break trailing 31-20, and only two players scored in the opening half.

The average viewer would suspect that Ryan Boatright and Shabazz Napier provided the early offense for UConn, but neither player scored until the second half. Omar Calhoun (13) and DeAndre Daniels (7) were all the offense the Huskies had early on.

Things looked bleak for UConn at halftime, but once again, the Huskies showed that they are a second half team.

St. John's opened their lead up a little more as the half began, taking a 39-24 lead before UConn finally started to find a rhythm.

At that point, UConn went on a 15-1 to cut the lead to 40-39.

The two teams went shot-for-shot for the most part from that point on, but the Red Storm were able to close the game out by shooting 11-12 from the foul line over the last two and a half minutes, an incredible feat for a team that went into the game in last place in the Big East in free throw shooting.

UConn drops to 5-4 in the conference with the loss, and is now 15-6 overall. The Huskies may be playing with the knowledge that will not be playing in a tournament this season, but no one would know that from watching UConn fight its way through every game.