It certainly wasn't a great offensive day for the Cardinals (18-4, 9-1 Big East), who were coming off their first conference loss of the season to No. 1 Connecticut.
Smith had 19 points in the second half to match Louisville's total in the first half, its lowest of the season, as the Cardinals trailed 22-19 at the half at Madison Square Garden.
to help Louisville win a hard
fought game in the Garden.
Earl Clark had 10 of his 12 points in the second half for the Cardinals, who shot 38.5 percent from the field (20-for-52), including 3-for-17 from 3-point range.
Sean Evans had 12 points and nine rebounds for the Red Storm (12-11, 3-8), who have lost three of four. St. John's shot 31.1 percent for the game (19-for-61), including 2-for-12 on 3s.
The 47 points were the fewest Louisville has allowed in a Big East game this season. The Cardinals came in allowing 60.2 points per game overall, a figure that would be their lowest since the 1948-49 season.
The only player who was effective on the offensive end in the first half for Louisville was freshman center Samardo Samuels, who had nine points on 4-for-4 shooting. But he was hit in the face with an elbow with about 2:30 left in the first half, and a school spokesman said he lost two teeth and was taken to a hospital.
He was replaced by another freshman, Terrence Jennings, who finished with four points and seven rebounds, five of them offensive. All but one of the offensive rebounds came in the final 6 minutes of the game.
Louisville took the lead for good at 37-36 on a 3-pointer by Smith with 9:36 to play. The Red Storm had four field goals the rest of the game as Louisville used its variety of defenses to take control, from fullcourt pressure to zone traps to solid man-to-man.
Louisville's leading scorer at 13.4 points per game, Terrence Williams had three points coming off a season-high 26 in the loss to Connecticut.