November 29, 2015

NEW YORK (AP) With the game on the line, St. John's dynamic duo of Danaejah Grant and Aliyyah Handford made the plays to help the Red Storm pull off the upset.

Grant scored 27 points and Handford added 23 to help St. John's beat No. 18 South Florida 74-70 on Sunday.

''Great win for our program against a great opponent who has played well this year and was a tournament team last year,'' St. John's coach Joe Tartamella said. ''Most complete game we've had all year.''

The Red Storm (4-1) built an early nine-point lead and withstood every Bulls run thanks to their two stellar guards. South Florida cut its deficit to 55-52 midway through the fourth quarter on Courtney Williams' basket in the lane. But once again Grant answered with a 3-point play on the next possession.

Williams wouldn't let USF go away. She sprinted down the court to block Handford's shot after a steal and then hit a 3-pointer on the other end to make it 64-60 with 1:32 left.

After two free throws by Handford, Williams hit another 3-pointer to get USF within 66-63 with just over a minute left.

St. John's hit six of eight free throws in the final minute, including four by Aaliyah Lewis in the final 18 seconds to seal the win.

''That's the game of basketball,'' Grant said. ''It's all about runs. We sustained throughout the game. They are going to make shots, we made enough to win the game.''

Williams scored 25 of her 28 points in the second half to lead the Bulls (3-2).

The Red Storm got out to a quick nine point lead in the first quarter behind Handford and Grant before South Florida rallied to within 31-27 at the half. Williams had just three points in the first half playing only 11 minutes because of foul trouble.

''It took her a little bit to get going,'' South Florida coach Jose Fernandez said. ''Lot of it was credit to how they defended. They did a really good job on her chasing her off screens. The second half she really got going.''

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TIP-INS:

South Florida: The No. 18 ranking in the poll is the highest in school history for South Florida. ... Alisia Jenkins had 15 rebounds and is 43 rebounds short of the school record of 1,077 set by Wanda Guyton.

St. John's: The Red Storm are 8-2 all-time against South Florida, winning the last six. ... Handford is in fifth place on the school's all-time scoring list with 1,596 points. She's 377 away from tying leader Ling-Ling Hou.

MISCUES:

After averaging just 10.8 turnovers through its first four games, South Florida had 21 against St. John's.

''St. John's sped us up a lot ... credit to them,'' Fernandez said. ''Their hands were active, got in the passing lanes. Pressure and energy sped us up, that created lot of those turnovers.''

UP NEXT:

South Florida hosts Harvard on Thursday

St. John's hosts Sacred Heart on Thursday

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