I remember going to Hoboken once for an afternoon party. The party wasn't that great, I was hanging out with people that I didn't really find interesting. We stumbled back to the Path train to make our way back to NYC, surrounded by homely people all trying to make it into Manhattan, and I looked at the skyline. Everything looked wrong. The Empire State Building, the whole skyline...
We were on the wrong side of the river.
Apparently, the St. John's Red Storm feel the same way when they cross into New Jersey and play Seton Hall.
In truth, this wasn't the worst game from the Red Storm. Seton Hall would be tough to beat if they played like this all the time; they were really hot from the outside, and no one could expect them to hit that many open jump shots during a game. Granted, those guys should be covered; Jeremy Hazell is known to be a very good streak shooter. But Hazell has shot like garbage all season, Fuquan Edwin has been no better, and the Pirates have jacked ill-conceived treys all year.
Last night, they finally fell. Kudos to them.
And kudos to Kevin Willard. He has the formerly indifferent Pirates playing incredibly good defense, and that effort will make them contenders in the future. For Johnnies fans who can't believe the loss, remember that Seton Hall's defense is the third stingiest in the Big East and 13th in Pomeroy's rankings of team defense. Their defending is elite. Give them credit.
Below, a continuation of the recap of the St. John's 84-70 loss yesterday: read on for a recap of the Keys to the Game, SNY's video, media coverage and more, below the fold.
A visual of the stats from Statsheet. Of the four factors, shooting is the most important, and that is where St. John's failed on both ends.
(italicized text is from the pregame description of each Key to the Game)
No let up! St. John’s can’t let them get into a rhythm early; this is their big game, and the Red Storm have to attack with energy and continue to scrap the way they have in the month of February. Seton Hall got into a rhythm once they beat St. John's press. The Red Storm scrapped, but the Pirates gained confidence early and wouldn't let it go. D
Rebound. The game will be scrappy, and possessions will be at a premium. The Hall will come with defense and St. John's has to make sure to keep them off the glass at both ends. St. John's rebounded quite well... when the Hall missed their shots. This wasn't a huge factor. B+
A little patience. The patient approach has allowed for the team to find the right player at the right time for the right shot. It may not be as smooth as in previous games.... It wasn't smooth at all. St. John's was somewhat patient, but found themselves taking long runners in the middle of the lane. Were there better shots available? Possibly. C+
Watch for turnovers. St. John’s needs to protect the ball and end their possessions with shots. St. John's struggled against Seton Hall's pressure and turned the ball over; more importantly, they couldn't get comfortable. Even some of the Red Storm's best shots were off-balance, like Paris Horne's flip shot in the highlights below. The Red Storm were clearly bothered. D
Kennedy + Hardy. The Pirates are also foul prone, so we look to see Dwight Hardy and D.J. Kennedy at the free throw line numerous times. D.J. Kennedy and Dwight Hardy got to the free throw line. This was undone by Seton Hall's ability to get to the free throw line; also uncharacteristic of them. But a decent job by DJ and Dwight. B
Video of Steve Lavin's ejection:
ESPN NY: Seton Hall damages St. John's chances at double-bye in Big East tournament - ESPN New York
The St. John's Express plowed into a speed bump Thursday evening across the Hudson River -- and it cost them in more ways than one.
The No. 15-ranked Red Storm (19-10, 11-6 Big East) saw their six-game winning streak snapped by Seton Hall (12-17, 6-11), 84-70 at the Prudential Center. But more importantly, St. John's almost certainly squandered its opportunity of getting a two-round bye in next week's Big East tournament.
NY Post: St. John's falls to Seton Hall, likely losing double bye in Big East Tournament - NYPOST.com
Last night the rock cracked at The Rock in Newark.
With 1:55 left in what was still a winnable game, Lavin, incensed by the officiating, drew a double technical foul and was ejected. Seton Hall’s Jeremy Hazell of Harlem converted 2-of-4 free throws giving the Pirates an insurmountable 79-68 en route to an 84-70 win over the No. 15 Red Storm.
NBC NY: Lavin Ejected in St. John's Loss | NBC New York
Not only were the Red Storm outplayed against Seton Hall, the usually composed Lavin was ejected following a late 7-0 Pirates run that sealed St. John's fate. With 1:55 remaining, Lavin, after calling a timeout, went onto the floor to argue with the official and received a technical foul.
Lavin continued walking and talking and was promptly assessed another technical. His night was over. And with seven seconds left, St. John's forward Justin Burrell was assessed a flagrant foul and also ejected. "I'm not proud at all of the poor display of conduct on the sidelines, and I apologize to our players and St. John's and our fan base and basketball fans at large," Lavin said in the locker room after the game. "I set a bad example."
NY Daily News: Seton Hall upsets No. 15 St. John's, 84-70, Jeremy Hazell scores 31 points, Steve Lavin is ejected
After Lavin's exit, a pair of skirmishes broke out. D.J. Kennedy had to be restrained from going after the Hall's Patrik Auda at one point, and Justin Burrell was ejected for committing a flagrant foul as the Pirates' Alani Okoloji attempted a run-out dunk with seven seconds left.
"It's just the rivalry," St. John's Justin Brownlee said. "Frustrations build up, and some things that happened should not have - the flagrant foul maybe should not have happened - but we always protect our baskets and we weren't going to let any easy baskets."
Boston Herald: St. John’s routed by Seton Hall - BostonHerald.com
In reality, St. John’s walked into a perfect ambush situation. The Red Storm had won eight of its previous nine games and risen to No. 15 in the country. But he last time SJU won at Seton Hall was in 1998, and the Pirates were looking from some solace at the end of a tough season.
They found it at the three-point line where they buried 12 of 18 shots thanks to the hot hands of Jeremy Hazell, who made 4 of 6 three-point attempts on his way to a 31-point effort, and Fuquan Edwin, who nailed 5 of 6 threes while totaling 19 points. Jordan Theodore added 14 points, and Jeff Robinson had 10 for the Pirates, who shot 64.3 percent from the field.
Jerry Carino/ My Central Jersey: Blue Storm: Seton Hall 84, No. 15 St. John’s 70 | New Jersey Hoops Haven
—In some ways this was a better performance than the Syracuse win because the Hall was not rolling downhill all game. They overcame serious foul trouble, had good possessions in the final four minutes and shut St. John’s down when it counted. The ball movement was crisp and composed and the zone did exactly what it’s supposed to do: Force St. John’s to settle for jumpers.