NEW YORK – Federico Mussini scored 17 points and St. John's used some good shooting and superior rebounding to beat old Big East rival Syracuse 84-72 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
For the first time since Jan. 19, 1977, Jim Boeheim was not coaching the Orange against St. John's, a span of 63 games. This was the third of his nine-game suspension from the NCAA.
Amar Alibegovic, Durand Johnson and freshman Kassoum Yakwe all had 15 points for the Red Storm (7-3), which won its third straight and picked up a victory in a rivalry that has been favoring Syracuse in recent years.
The Orange had won nine of the previous 10 meetings, and it leads the overall series 51-39.
"This was amazing," Mussini said. "I think this was the best win of my life in the world's most famous arena. Nothing better than this."
Michael Gbinije had 21 points to lead Syracuse (7-3), which has lost three of its past four games.
Alibegovic had nine rebounds for St. John's, which finished with a 51-36 advantage on the boards.
The Red Storm shot 30 of 61 from the field (49.2 percent), including 12-for-24 from three-point range — well above its season marks.