HARTFORD, Conn. (Jan. 20, 2010) - Playing its first game since coach Jim Calhoun took a medical leave of absence, No. 21 Connecticut got 21 points from Jerome Dyson and the Huskies ended a three-game losing streak with a 75-59 win over St. John's on Wednesday.
Stanley Robinson had 18 points and nine rebounds and Kemba Walker added 17 points and six assists for UConn (12-6, 3-3), which was coached by longtime Calhoun assistant George Blaney.
D.J. Kennedy had 19 points to lead St. John's, (12-6, 2-4) which was coming off consecutive BIG EAST home wins over Cincinnati and DePaul. Dwight Hardy added 12 points for the Red Storm, while Sean Evans, Paris Horne and Anthony Mason Jr. added six points apiece.
UConn has won nine straight against St. John's since an overtime loss at Madison Square Garden in 2002.
UConn led just 31-28 at the half, but came out of intermission on an 11-4 run, led by Walker, who had seven during that stretch.
A transition basket by Robinson after Dyson came from behind to swat away a Kennedy layup at the other end gave UConn a 54-42 lead midway through the second half. It was one of 10 blocks for the Huskies, who lead the nation in that category.
A long 3-pointer by Robinson as the shot clock was expiring gave the Huskies a 67-52 lead with just over 3 minutes left, and put the game out of reach.
The Huskies were 6-of-14 from behind the arc. St. John's was just 2-of-17 from 3-point range, including 2-of-11 after halftime.
St. John's led most of the first half, jumping out to an early 5-2 lead, and had no problem with Connecticut's press.
The Huskies looked to run early, but hit just 3 of their first 11 shots and trailed 13-11. Walker led UConn on a 6-0 run to tie the game at 21 and Dyson later hit consecutive 3-pointers and the Huskies turned a 25-23 deficit into a 31-25 lead.
St. John's returns to action on Jan. 23 at noon, hosting Villanova at Madison Square Garden.