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Game #22: St. John's 81, Seton Hall 91: a rotten apple

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Box score

When I look at the play-by-play, the first thing I notice is that Paris Horne didn't get his first shot until there is only 6:04 left in the first half. It's good that Justin got a few looks early, but in St. John's half court sets, Paris Horne should also get a look, since he's the most effective perimeter scorer.

And there weren't many misses from the Seton Hall Pirates... the Red Storm made them look like a top half team, which they are most certainly not.

But yesterday, they were the kind of better that crushes all hope that St. John's has something good going. The Johnnies, faced with questions about their coach's status, and a game against nearby rivals (with players that know each other), and a team that they shocked in Queens last year... laid a complete and utter egg.

D.J. Kennedy got fouled a lot and made some plays, Paris Horne scored some points, Malik Boothe made some passes. And Seton Hall's lack of depth made them back off , letting St. John's get close.

But this was a punching from tip to buzzer.

Breakdown of this rotten game (for St. John's fans), from the 5 Points:

Rotten Apple photoMake The Scorers Think: Wow. Way to not get in the way of the Seton Hall scorers. Those guys just let rip, and surpassed season averages in three-point shooting. Putrid.

Hang On To The Rock: The overall turnover numbers weren't bad, but the Hall took the turnovers and scored, scored, and scored some more with them. Poor.

Hustle for the Ball: Well, there was a scrum. But the hustle came a little late, in the end of the first half and a little in the second; St. John's was sleeping through the first ten minutes when their doors got blown off. 39-19 with 5 and a half minutes left in the first half is not a promising start. The Johnnies looked a step slow the whole time. Effort: (Mostly) Abominable.

Don’t Play Their Game: I wrote: … the Red Storm could be goaded into playing a breakneck speed kind of game, putting up shots and trying to beat the Pirates down the court. That is a bad idea; they need to play a controlled game - run when it’s prudent, stop the other team from running, and score in the halfcourt. If Malik Boothe takes 10 shots at the rim, this St. John’s team is probably not doing a good job. So we saw: 12 shots from Malik Boothe (he made 3); a 71 possession game (St. John's plays around 68 possessions per game); and the Pirates played their game. From the beginning, I curled up on the couch and watched the beating happen. Woeful.

Power Inside: For once, the bigs got a chance with the ball. Burrell and Evans were decent, and Rob Thomas had a number of second chance points and free throw attempts. He had a poor night at the line. They could have used more free throw attempts - especially from Burrell. But if there is anything they did right it was this. I'd rate this as Passable.

Postgame Media: Pirates keep roll going by downing Red Storm

As if Seton Hall's 91-81 victory at The Prudential Center wasn't bad enough, the Seton Hall student section mercilessly taunted injured St. John's star Anthony Mason Jr. all night as he sat on the bench with a boot on his injured right foot. Mason Jr., who is out for the season, endured suggestions like "Put your dad in," which was a reference to his father, Anthony Mason Sr., who starred for the Knicks a generation ago.

See also: predictions on Rutgers, Seton Hall, and St. John's the rest of the season.

Five Boro Sports: Flat first half does in St. John's against Seton Hall

In a very winnable game, St. John’s (12-10, 3-7 Big East) faced deficits of 24-9 and 39-17 in the first half and trailed, 45-29, at halftime – only after a 12-6 run cut the lead down. The Red Storm looked feeble in trying to handle Seton Hall’s 1-2-2 fullcourt pressure defense.

"We just had some silly mistakes," sophomore guard Paris Horne told reporters. "We turned the ball over a couple of times during that run. We didn’t get to the loose balls, the 50-50 balls."

NY Post: Red Storm players let Roberts down

The day after several Red Storm players told The Post they would do everything they could (translation: win) to enhance the chances of coach Norm Roberts being retained, they turned in an awful performance against cross-river rival Seton Hall.

The Red Storm got sucked into Seton Hall's calculated style of mayhem and fell behind by 22 points in the first half before suffering a 91-81 defeat at the Prudential Center in Newark.

It was the most points surrendered by a Roberts team since the third game of his first season when Niagara posted a 102-81 triumph. This is year five.

Newsday: Against a small team, SJU fails to come up big

"We let the guys we said we didn't want to get off get off, and they had confidence for the rest of the game," said Red Storm sophomore point guard Malik Boothe, who had eight points (3-for-12 shooting) and six assists. "We were down 22-9, 24-9, and we let our body language get down and get negative."

NY Daily News: Pirates run over Red Storm

The Pirates shot 55% in a first half during which they turned seven Storm turnovers into 12 points, scored on three of their five offensive rebounds and took a 45-29 lead to the break. The Johnnies never really got back into the game, but they never lost their fight.

Seton Hall/ SHU Men's Basketball Rides Hazell's 31 Points Past St. John's, 91-81

The second half went back-and-forth for several minutes before the Red Storm closed to within 56-46 on a trifecta from Paris Horne at the 14:12 mark. Senior John Garcia (Brentwood, N.Y.), who finished with eight points, nine rebounds, four assists and five blocks, stemmed the tide with a pair of free throws before a Hazell layup pushed the lead back to 14.

With St. John’s again trailing by 10, Harvey converted a 3-point play with 10:11 left to make it 66-53. A free throw from Mitchell was sandwiched by a pair of scores from Hazell to make an 8-0 run that gave the Hall an 18-point lead with less than eight minutes to play.