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Game #2: St. John's 86, Cornell 75

Box score

Last night's game was invisible to all who wished to watch the Red Storm basketball team take on the Cornell Big Red, and it was only audible in the NYC listening area (not online, unfortunately) - I got updates from Johnny Jungle's faithful fans and posters.

The game got the fans excited, and was full of pluses and minuses, detailed below the fold.

A win is a win, but each win needs to build to something bigger.

Plus:

+ wire-to-wire win
+ solid and unexpected point distribution - 14 from Boothe; 24 from Mason (who had some touch from the outside); 22 for Kennedy; 11 for Burrell
+ Efficient scoring from the big guns of the Red Storm- Mason 1.7 points per shot (PPS); Kennedy 1.3 pps; Boothe 1.5 pps; Burrell 1.6 pps
+ Cornell's Randy Wittman took 24 shots to net 25 points (Effective field goal percentage of 43%)
+ The bench was better - Coker lasted 16 minutes (4 points, 3 fouls); Quincy Roberts played 16 minutes; Ty Edmondson had an assist, an offensive rebound, and 2 points; Phil Wait got his first action, with 2 points and 3 boards (1 offensive) in 4 minutes(!)
+ The Red Storm dominated three of the four factors - they outshot, outrebounded (on both ends), and got fouled by Cornell

Minus:

- More turnovers than in previous games
- Cornell 7'0" center Jeff Foote dominated in the second half for a stretch, logging 5 blocks and scoring a career-high 20 points
- St. John's should have put away this Cornell team, which was lacking their all-Ivy backcourt
- Sean Evans did some good dirty work with 4 offensive rebounds, but was otherwise invisible on the statsheet
- Burrell only got 7 shots
- The team improved their 3-point shooting percentage... to 25%. The Johnnies need to have some semblance of an outside game to survive in Division I

As for yesterday's Keys to the Game

Start With the Middle? The team went outside in and ran; I don't know how well they tested the interiors without actual footage.

Do Some Harm? They got to the free throw line, and Coker got a lot of minutes, as did the rest of the front line.

Judicious use of the Jump Shot? As far as outside shooting, this is a plus; only 20% of the team's shots were from beyond the arc. They played to their strengths.

Star Focus? Burrell and Mason were both more involved and effective. Burrell went out and picked up 11 boards.

Defend Wittman. Wittman was less efficient than he normally is, a credit to the defense.

Here are news articles from Cornell's Daily Sun (there's no sun in upstate NY!) and the Associated Press, via the NY Daily News.

Card Chronicle recaps the action around the Big East.