NEW YORK (Ticker) -- Ben Gordon's home away from home helped Connecticut pick up a needed road win.
Gordon netted 15 of his 23 points after halftime as the 12th-ranked Huskies ended a three-game road slide with a 74-68 Big East Conference victory over St. John's.
Connecticut (13-3, 4-1 Big East East) had been bitten by late collapses in its last two road losses, most notably last Monday's defeat at Miami in which Darius Rice nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer.
The Huskies had a friendlier reception awaiting them at Madison Square Garden, the site of their Big East championship last season, with fans equally split between both teams.
Gordon, a native of nearby Mount Vernon, had plenty of the Huskies' supporters cheering and continued his success here. The sophomore guard averaged nearly 18 points per game in the run to the conference title last season.
"I get hyped here. It's the basketball mecca," Gordon said. "So many players come through this building. Being from New York and watching the Knicks, you just want to be a part of that history."
"Ben was just saying he'd like to play every game here," Huskies coach Jim Calhoun said. "I'm not sure (athletic director) Lew Perkins would like to give up the checks, but if he plays like tonight, we might move the next 11 games here."
Gordon was forced to handle the point guard duties for most of the game since starter Taliek Brown was in foul trouble and bothered by a wrist injury that was wrapped in ice after the game.
St. John's (10-6, 3-3) never led but made a series of runs in the second half, drawing within two points on three occasions. Anthony Glover's two free throws cut the deficit to 57-55 with 7:41 left.
Gordon missed a jumper but turned in the game's biggest play by diving for the loose ball and prying it from Red Storm guard Willie Shaw. Still on the floor, Gordon found Emeka Okafor for a basket and a 59-55 advantage.
"He got it from three other guys," Calhoun said. "That was just a magnificent play."
Reserve Shamon Tooles followed with a three-point play for UConn to push the lead to seven with 5:45 remaining.
"It's not (always) going to be my offense," Gordon said. "It's going to be the little things. That was a big play for us, Mek (Okafor) scored and we kind of made a little run after that."
Okafor scored 14 of his 21 points in the first half and added 13 rebounds and six blocks. His defense helped force Glover into misfiring on 11-of-18 shots.
Gordon also came up with six assists and six rebounds for the Huskies, who overcame 21 turnovers thanks mostly to 53 percent (31-of-58) shooting.
UConn scored the game's first six points and took the lead for good, 13-10, on freshman Denham Brown's 3-pointer with 14:38 to go in the first half. The Huskies stretched the lead to as many as 11 points before settling for a 36-29 halftime edge.
Marcus Hatten led St. John's back with 20 of his 26 points in the second half, but made only 9-of-23 shots. The Red Storm shot 35 percent (26-of-74) and were outrebounded, 45-35.
"What makes tonight a little bit difficult is I thought we could've done certain things better," St. John's coach Mike Jarvis said. "But we're not quite there yet."
Glover scored 17 points for St. John's, which had no other player in double figures. Freshman Elijah Ingram, who helped spark Saturday's win at Virginia Tech, did not score in 35 minutes.
The Red Storm missed a chance at a three-game winning streak and dropped to 0-2 against ranked opponents this year.