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Game #19: St. John's 70, Rutgers 59

Box score

And you shall know his name is Horne... when he lays his vengeance on you.

Paris Horne's stat line in the win: 40 minutes, 27 points, 12-13 shooting (3-4 from 3-pt), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 2 turnovers; he scored 20 points in the first half.

Paris Horne is putting up some good performances and star turns; now consistency against all opponents should be a goal. If he can be this efficient, the Red Storm might have a star going into next year. Postgame media below.

Paris Horne dunk vs Rutgers

Postgame media:

NY Post: Rip Rutgers to Erase Cincy Collapse

"I told our guys in the locker room [before last night's game], 'This could be a character win,' " said Roberts. "Because I think we got a lot of character in our locker room. We got a lot of proud guys who work extra hard and we've been dealt some bad cards.

"So I told them, 'A lot of people said you can't come back from the loss to Cincinnati,'" continued Roberts. "And I said, 'We can.' "

Asbury Park Press: Sluggish Start Dooms Rutgers Against St. John's

"We haven't had the discipline to win games," Rutgers coach Fred Hill said. "We've got to get mentally better, mentally tougher, and have more discipline."...

Freshman guard Mike Rosario hinted at an intensity problem in the first half, when the Red Storm posted a 20-7 edge on the glass — including 7-1 on the offensive glass — and shot a whopping 59 percent from the field.

"We got out of character," said Rosario, who scored a team-high 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting. "St. John's did a good job by having a lot of energy and running their stuff."

Hill dismissed reporters' questions about his team's intensity level. Rutgers Men Still Winless In Big East After 70-59 Loss to St. John's

With five minutes left in the first half Saturday night, a crouched Fred Hill watched as Tomas Jasiulionis, St. John's reserve center, pulled down an offensive rebound amongst three Rutgers players. Hill looked down and shook his head repeatedly.

It was that kind of night for Rutgers.

The problem is, they're all becoming those kinds of nights.

Each time Rutgers takes the court, it's becoming like the movie "Groundhog Day" -- the team keeps reliving the same experience over and over again. They routinely dig themselves into a hole, then are forced to scramble late to try and get out of it.

"I wish I had an answer, but I really don't," a visibly dejected Anthony Farmer said afterwards. "I mean, I don't know why we dig ourselves in a deep hole -- and then play with so much intensity and fight back and battle back to give ourselves a chance at the end."

NY Daily News: D.J. Kennedy Helps St. John's Win, Hold Off Rutgers' Late Rally

The margin was just 61-59 when Kennedy came alive. In the game-closing 9-0 run he made all six of his free throws and assisted on the only basket. Paris Horne had carried the Storm to that point with a career-high 27 points on 12-for-13 shooting, but it was Kennedy who closed the deal.

"He made a promise and he fulfilled (it)," Horne said. "He did everything he said he'd do."

NY Newsday: Emotional Win For St. John's Men's Basketball

Paris Horne had a career-high 27 points, shooting 12-for-13 from the floor and holding Rutgers' leading scorer, freshman Mike Rosario, to five first-half points. Kennedy had 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists, plus he made six free throws in the final 2:19 to seal the win. And one of the biggest plays came from Justin Burrell, who rejected Rutgers' Greg Echenique on a layup try with 1:10 left to hold off the Scarlet Knights.

All three of those Red Storm players put blame on themselves for Thursday's debacle. Kennedy spoke to his dejected team right after that loss, then again before practice Friday. Roberts said Sean Evans (11 points last night) texted the coach to apologize for missing key free throws Thursday. Horne said he missed some shots that could have kept his team from folding.

"They all felt bad, and they're all leaders," Roberts said.

DJ Kennedy vs Rutgers