Red Storm Sports: MOE BUCKETS: Red Storm Begins Conference Play By Stunning Providence, 91-67
St. John's, which led by as many as 26 points, finished 35-of-62 from the field (56.5 percent), including 7-of-19 from 3-point range (36.8 percent). The Red Storm improved to 6-1 at Carnesecca Arena this season and snapped a streak of seven-straight games where they failed to reach 70 points.
"Carnesecca can be a little hornets' nest when you pack it," Dunlap said, referring to the sellout crowd of 5,602. "It has its own advantages and it really helped us energy-wise, especially in the second half."
Providence was never able to make a run, never getting closer than 12 points in the second half. Cooley was asked about his team's defense.
"Defense? That was awful," he said. "I promise you we will correct that attitude. That was the worst defensive game I ever coached and that will be emphatically addressed at 6 a.m. tomorrow."
NY Daily News: St. John's basketball blows out Providence in Big East opener, Moe Harkless breaks freshman record held by Allen Iverson, Troy Murphy
St. John’s (7-5) may have stumbled through its first 11 games as six of the players in the seven-man rotation are in their first season, but against Providence (11-3, 0-1) it lived up to all the hype that came with the heralded recruiting class.
"Our kids were just pathetic in every imaginable way," Friars coach Ed Cooley said. The Johnnies forced 20 turnovers, igniting the transition game. They got 34 points off of turnovers and shot 57% for the game. St. John’s only deficit was 2-0, and [D`Angelo Harrison] quickly helped erase that with eight points as the Storm pulled out to a 19-6 early lead.
he Johnnies never let Providence back into the game.
"It was just a matter of time for everything to click," [Maurice Harkless] said. "Right now we’re starting to click, and I think we can get a lot better."
Newsday: St. John's Moe Harkless sets record in Big East debut
The most amazed people of all in Carnesecca Arena had to be the Friars (11-3, 0-1 Big East), who came in with a seven-game winning streak and a lot of confidence they expressed to Harrison before the game. "They were saying, 'Y'all not ready; y'all too young,' " Harrison said of the pregame conversation.
That added fuel to the fire for St. John's (7-5, 1-0), which has struggled at times against a tough schedule, but the Red Storm was ready to play defense.
But Harkless knew his points and the impressive total of 91 put up by the Red Storm (7-5, 1-0 Big East) all were the result of playing terrific defense. Yes, the Friars (11-3, 0-1) still shot 48.3 percent from the field, but they committed 20 turnovers, contributing to St. John's big advantages in points off turnovers (34-11) and fast-break points (26-10). Whenever Providence tried to press, it just opened the floor up for the Red Storm to score in transition.
"That was the gameplan," Harkless said. "Keep them out of the paint, get in the passing lanes and rebound. Our goal is to play as one on defense, and we did that. If we let the offense come to us and no one is selfish, we'll be fine."
NY Post: Moe Harkless, St. John’s smash Providence
Harkless, the freshman sensation from Queens, hit 14 of 17 shots from the field, including 2 of 3 from behind the arc, and grabbed 14 rebounds for his fourth double-double to eclipse Iverson and Murphy, each of whom had 30 points in their freshman Big East debuts.
UConn’s Caron Butler and Khalid El-Amin and Villanova’s Tim Thomas each had 29 in their freshman debuts. Boston College’s Troy Bell and Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell had 28. Consider the freshmen who have donned the red and white — Ron Artest, Chris Mullin, Walter Berry, Mark Jackson. None of them had a better league debut than Harkless.
AP via NBC Sports: St. John's 91, Providence 67
"Our kids were pathetic today in every way," [Providence Coach Ed Cooley] said. "Every wart re-emerged. We were very selfish. We just weren't tough and when you're not tough and show that passion to compete, that's very sad to see. We were coming along but played a team that wanted it more."
The Red Storm came into the game averaging 66.7 points - 15th in the 16-team Big East - but they had 47 and a 16-point lead at halftime.
"Our defense made us play better offense," Harrison said. "It all started on the defensive end. The scoring was on the fast break and that makes it easy."
"We were able to score off their scores," St. John's assistant coach Mike Dunlap said. "We had confidence we could answer with something at the rim and we took more 3s. We want them to shoot it with confidence. For good, for bad, we want them to take those shots. The 3-ball helped us."
Friar Basketball: Harkless, St. John's Blitz Defenseless Friars
2. Failing to close the half: Once trailing 19-6, Providence had hung around and gotten it to 26-16 with seven minutes to play in the first half. After such a horrible start, closing to with six at the intermission would have given PC the momentum back heading into the locker room. St. John's wouldn't have it. They scored 11 of the game's next 15 points, pushing their lead to 17 with just over four minutes to go. Providence was never in it from there.
3. Slow out of the gates: After surrendering a whopping 47 first half points, Providence trailed by 16 at the half. Vincent Council tried to spark an early run, scoring the first two baskets of the second half to cut the lead to 12, yet the Red Storm countered with a 7-1 run to push the lead back to 17 points. Providence managed only three field goals over the next seven minutes.
Last Dec. 29, a St. John's team that had lost to St. Bonaventure and Fordham earlier in the month opened Big East play with a surprising win at West Virginia, 81-71. Dunlap has cited that game as a major turning point -- a win that inspired that team to believe it could accomplish big things.
This victory over Providence could prove to be a season-changer, too. Or it could just be a particularly bright spot for this team of five freshmen and two juniors that is likely to experience some serious ups and downs.
Providence Journal: St. John's rips PC in Big East opener, 91-67
Reality hit for the Providence College Friars Tuesday in their Big East opener and it wasn't a pretty sight.
St. John's jumped the Friars early and dominated the Friars for a 91-67 victory at sold out Carnesecca Arena. St. John's (7-5) is led by freshmen and they easily outclassed PC's talent. The Friars fell to 11-3 and snapped a seven-game winning streak.
ESPN/ Dana O'Neil: A primer for the Big East season
Freshman of the year (so far): St. John's Moe Harkless has been the lone bright spot in an otherwise frustrating season for the Red Storm. Amid all the turmoil -- Steve Lavin is still recovering from prostate cancer surgery and sophomore Nurideen Lindsey inexplicably announced he would transfer at semester's end -- Harkless has been reliable. He's scored in double figures in all but one game and is averaging a team-best 15.7 points and 8.5 rebounds, blowing open the doors on the Big East season with 32 against Providence in the conference opener on Tuesday.
Other contenders include Providence's LaDontae Henton, Louisville's Chane Behanan and Connecticut's Andre Drummond.