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NEW YORK – D'Angelo Harrison had a key four-point play and finished with 19 points and five steals to help St. John's beat Minnesota 70-61 on Wednesday night in the NIT Season Tip-Off semifinals.
Harrison converted the four-point play with 2:23 left to give St. John's a 65-59 lead. He saved a loose ball before diving out of bounds, then drifted to the right corner and was fouled on a 3-pointer.
"Those kind of plays are St. John's basketball right there," Harrison said.
Harrison struggled from the field in the first half, going 2 of 11.
"My teammates did a good job of staying with me," Harrison said. "They just said shoot the ball. You're a shooter, shoot it."
Rysheed Jordan added 18 points and eight rebounds for St. John's (4-0).
Nate Mason led Minnesota (3-2) with 15 points.
St. John's overcame a 40-31 halftime deficit.
"They turned up the heat in the second half and they made a lot of hustle plays," Minnesota coach Richard Pitino said.
A pivotal moment in the second half came when Minnesota's Elliott Eliason was called for a technical foul.
"It was a huge mistake and I'm embarrassed about it frankly," Eliason said. "It was a huge turn."
Sir'Dominic Pointer then brought the crowd to its feet with two dunks, a steal and a block in a two-minute span.
"The first half we played like little kids," Pointer said. "We let them get wide open shots and we missed defensive assignments. The second half we just said it's time to man up and that's what happened. We got into them, we stayed together and we came back."
St. John's: The Red Storm struggled from beyond the arc (2-13) and the foul line (22-37).
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers also struggled from the field (23-63) and the foul line (9-16).
St. John's: The Red Storm will play No. 10 Gonzaga on Friday night. Gonzaga beat Georgia 88-76 in the second semifinal.
Minnesota: The Golden Gophers will play Georgia.