UNC Asheville beats St. John's 72-65

UNC Asheville beats St. John's 72-65
December 21, 2012, 9:58 pm
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NEW YORK (AP) Jeremy Atkinson scored a career-high 31 points, 13 in UNC Asheville's game-turning 23-4 run, and grabbed nine rebounds as the Bulldogs rallied past St. John's 72-65 on Friday night

The Bulldogs (5-7) trailed by 17 points in the first half and were down 54-42 with 12:11 remaining.

Atkinson keyed the big burst, hitting all three of his 3-point field goals. He was 6 of 10 overall in the second half when Asheville shot 48.4 percent and made four of its nine 3-point attempts.

Keith Hornsby's breakaway dunk gave the Bulldogs a 65-58 lead with 4:10 to play. The Red Storm (8-4) answered with a 7-0 run to tie the game at 65 with 2:03 left.

Hornsby hit a 3 to break the tie with 1:30 left and that started the Bulldogs' game-closing 7-0 run.

Hornsby, the son of Grammy Award-winning singer Bruce Hornsby, had 14 points and Will Weeks added 10 points and nine rebounds. The Bulldogs beat a Big East team for the first time in 16 games.

Asheville, two-time defending Big South champions, outrebounded the Red Storm 40-30, including 13-7 on the offensive end.

D'Angelo Harrison had 24 points for the Red Storm, who had won six of seven. JaKarr Sampson had 17.

Asheville scored the last five points of the first half - all off St. John's turnovers - to get within 40-30. The Red Storm led 38-21 with 3:12 left on a fadeaway by Sampson.

This capped Asheville's three-game, eight-day trip that started with a loss at No. 7 Ohio State followed by a win over Northeastern.

Jamal Branch, a transfer from Texas A&M, made his debut with the Red Storm. The sophomore point guard had two points, two assists and four rebounds in 14 minutes.

The Red Storm start their Big East schedule with games at Villanova on Jan. 2 and No. 11 Cincinnati on Jan. 5.

This was the second meeting between the schools. St. John's won 105-50 on Nov. 16, 1998.