St. John’s (6-3) earned a date with Northwestern on Tuesday night after beating Davidson 62-57 in the semifinals of the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival. D.J. Kennedy had a team-high 17 points and nine rebounds to lead the Red Storm to the victory, including hitting clutch free-throws down the stretch. Neither team had a field goal over the final five minutes and both teams combined for three points over that span. St. John’s is looking for its 15th Festival title in 45 appearances at the tournament. The team’s last title came in 2005. The Red Storm take on unbeaten Northwestern who beat St. Francis (N.Y.) 92-61 on Monday.
No. 5/5 Syracuse (12-0) coasted to a 97-55 win over Morgan State. The Orange got a career-high 18 points from James Southerland who also played a career-best 21 minutes with freshman C.J. Fair sidelined with an ankle injury. Rick Jackson also added 18 points and nine rebounds. The Orange finished the game four assists off the school record, totaling 34 assists on 39 field goals. Syracuse shot 53.4 percent from the floor and outrebounded Morgan State, the two-time defending MEAC champions, 47-28 and quickly turned the game into a rout. The game was as close as six with 11:10 to play in the first half, but SU went on a 12-0 run to take a commanding 34-16 lead and never looked back.
No. 4/4 Connecticut (9-0) played its first game in 12 days, defeating Coppin State 76-64 to remain unbeaten. The Huskies dominated the glass, outrebounding the Eagles 58-29 in the contest including grabbing the first 13 of the game (10 on the offensive end). Kemba Walker, who led all scorers with 20 points, led a 25-3 run that turned a 13-12 lead into a 38-15 advantage. Walker had nine points in the stretch. Guard Jeremy Lamb and forward Alex Oriakhi were also in double figures with 16 points and 12 points respectively.
Four games are slated for tonight. Unbeaten Cincinnati visits Miami (OH) on ESPN3.com and Providence hosts Sacred Heart in a pair of 7 p.m. tip-offs. Marquette welcomes Mississippi Valley State at 8 p.m. St. John’s plays undefeated Northwestern in the finals of the Madison Square Garden Holiday Festival at 9:30 p.m.