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Rapid Reaction: St. John's 76, DePaul 51

NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 76-51 win over DePaul on Wednesday night at Carnesecca Arena in Queens.

WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's improves to 18-9 overall, and 10-5 in Big East play. The red-hot Red Storm have won five in a row, and seven of eight. St. John's has now surpassed its win total from last season, and has its most W's overall since winning 21 games in 2002-03. St. John's also now has its most Big East wins since 1999-2000, when it had 12.

DePaul drops to 7-20 overall, and 1-14 in the conference.

THE SKINNY: After a sluggish first four minutes, St. John's found its bearings, surging on separate 9-0 and 12-0 runs in the first half, and leading 37-22 at intermission.

The second half was no contest. The Red Storm had doubled up the margin to 61-31 less than halfway through, and cruised from there. St. John's looked crisp, and DePaul looked outclassed -- even though the Blue Demons were coming off a win over Providence, followed by a two-point overtime loss versus Villanova.

HOMETOWN HEROES: Dwight Hardy led St. John's with 21 points on 8-for-13 shooting from field -- his 11th game this season with 20 or more, as he further inserts himself into the Big East Player of the Year conversation. Paris Horne added 14 points (6-for-7 shooting), and D.J. Kennedy posted a double-double -- 11 points and 10 rebounds. Justin Brownlee also had 10 rebounds, and seven points.

A MILESTONE: This was the 500th game played at Carnesecca Arena -- and the legendary coach himself, Lou Carnesecca, was in attendance. St. John's is now 420-80 in this building -- 4-2 this season.

WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's plays at No. 14 Villanova on Saturday afternoon at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia. DePaul hosts South Florida on Saturday.