Rasheem Dunns second-half flurry lifts St. Johns over Providence

Rasheem Dunn overcame a slow start and scored 18 of his season-high 21 points after halftime as host St. John’s rallied for an 81-67 victory over Providence on Wednesday night in Queens, N.Y.

Dunn started 1 of 7 when St. John’s (15-10, 9-9 Big East) faced an 11-point halftime deficit but thrived during the Red Storm’s game-ending 21-7 run over the final 6:46.
During the clinching run, Dunn hit a 3-pointer, converted a three-play and hit a jumper to push the lead to 70-60 with 4:05 remaining. He added another layup to put St. John’s up 75-63 with 73 seconds left to essentially seal it and capped his big night by sinking two free throws in the final minute.

Dunn made 8 of 15 shots overall as St. John’s shot 55.2 percent in the second half and 45.9 percent overall.

Julian Champagnie, the Big East’s leading scorer, added 16 and 10 rebounds for his seventh double-double. Greg Williams Jr. filled in for standout freshman Posh Alexander (sprained right thumb) and added 15 points while Isaih Moore chipped in 10.

Nate Watson paced Providence with 19 points on 9-of-13 shooting to go along with five rebounds and three blocks. David Duke added 16 and nine rebounds but committed five turnovers and scored three points after halftime before fouling out in the final minute.

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Providence (12-12, 8-10) shot 43.1 percent overall but made 34.5 percent from the field in the final 20 minutes. The Friars were 4 of 23 from 3-point range and missed all nine 3-point tries in the second half when they were outscored 51-26

Providence ripped off a 16-3 burst to take a 20-10 lead on a layup by Duke with 10:47 left and then held a 24-14 lead after a jumper by Jared Bynum with 9:09 to go. After St. John’s countered with a 14-4 spurt and forged a tie at 28 on a putback by Josh Roberts with 5:13 left, Providence outscored the Red Storm 13-2 and took a 41-30 advantage at intermission.

St. John’s regained the lead for the first time since the opening minutes when Dunn’s layup made it 53-51 with 11:44 remaining. After Watson’s jumper forged a deadlock at 60 with 6:46 remaining, Dunn began his game-ending flourish.

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