The Red Storm (14-9, 4-6 Big East) placed four players in double figures. Freshman guard Rysheed Jordan netted 13 of his 18 points in the first half while Chris Obekpa contributed 10 points and five rebounds.
Providence's Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 32 points on 11-for-25 shooting. The senior was 6 of 10 from three-point territory. Kadeem Batts added 15 points for the Friars (16-7, 6-4).
St. John's jumped out to a double-digit lead within the opening seven minutes of the game. The Red Storm hit five of its first eight shots and later scored 10 straight points to take a 33-14 lead. St. John's went into halftime up 53-37.
The Red Storm shot 61.1 percent from the floor in the half while Providence shot 36.8 percent.
The Red Storm continued to dominate, opening a 64-42 lead at 15:24 of the second half. That's when the Friars began mounting a serious comeback. A rare four-point play opportunity and conversion by Cotton -- he was fouled on a three-pointer in front of Providence's bench -- helped jump-start 14 straight points for Providence, which moved to within 67-60 with 8:59 left.
The Friars closed to within six at 69-63 after Cotton nailed his sixth three-pointer, but two free throws and a jumper by Harrison helped push St. John's lead back to double digits. St. John's finished shooting 50 percent and outrebounded Providence 42-32. The Red Storm turned the ball over only five times.
You also may be interested in:
More coverageOliva named St. John's interim AD
St. John's general counsel Joseph Oliva was appointed interim athletic director on Tuesday by universityItalian PG Mussini commits to St. John's
Turning down a chance to play professional basketball in his native Italy, 6-1 point guardSBU announces launch of 'Seawolves United'