Very often coaches will preach the importance of 'winning' the first four minutes of each half. Getting the advantage of the opening minutes of the game does not guarantee a victory but can set a tone and make the team in the driver's seat a lot tougher to reel in. Such was the case last night at Carnesecca Arena.
Looking at the Possessions for St. John's during those initial four minutes prior to the first media time out:
1. Five second violation (not the first possession result you want)
2. 2 point FG
3. 3 point FG
4. 2 point FG (off a PC turnover)
5. 2 point FG (off another Providence miscue)
6. missed shot (Sir Dominic pointer hoisted a prayer to beat the shot clock)
7. 2 point FG (courtesy of an offensive rebound)
The score after four minutes was 9-2 in favor of St. John's. Their offensive efficiency was a sterling 129. Given their start and how they did it, forcing turnovers and converting, the first four minutes in this contest was very significant. Ed Cooley's club was playing catch up and on their heels the entire evening. They never did fully regroup as St. John's posted a convincing 91-67 victory.
The efficiency numbers in a 70 possession, briskly paced, contest:
St. John's 130
Often teams have an 'off the chart' efficiency the first four minutes before it slowly drops back to earth. In this case, St. John's maintained that outstanding start, efficiency wise, straight to the end, resulting in a easier than expected victory.