The senior-laden, Steve Lavin-coached St. John’s Red Storm (10-4, 3-1) came into South Bend tonight on a high, but they won’t be leaving on one.
On Monday the Storm downed the Georgetown Hoyas 61-58 in the midst of a five-game win streak showing glimpses of why many pundits are cautiously optimistic this season about their return to the upper echelons of college basketball.
Notre Dame (14-2, 3-1) led by senior guard Ben Hansbrough downed St. John’s 76-61 however in an impressive display tonight, handing the Red Storm their first Big East loss and extending the Irish’s own streak of eleven straight home wins.
Hansbrough, who along with Tim Ambromitis, is having a stellar if yet unheralded season for the Irish, led all scorers with 26 points, 12 of which came on three-pointers at key points in the game, including a two and a half minute window in which he nailed three straight and single-handedly silenced a Red Storm comeback.
Assisting Hansbrough were Ambromitis and senior guard Scott Martin who scored 12 points each.
Justin Brownlee led St. John’s with 17 points.
The Irish continued to utilize only limited depth with Carleton Scott still out and two bench players seeing any minutes.
There will be very little rest for the Irish as they head to Wisconsin Monday to take on an 11-5 Marquette team that lost tonight in a tough battle with Pitt.