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Gametime! St. John's vs. Syracuse

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St. John's needs to do a better job of keeping Syracuse's post players off the block; Gil Biruta had 5 offensive rebounds, mostly tip-ins for points.
St. John's needs to do a better job of keeping Syracuse's post players off the block; Gil Biruta had 5 offensive rebounds, mostly tip-ins for points.

Can the Red Storm put up a better effort in this game than they did against Syracuse in January?

Dwight Hardy, in the post game presser after yesterday's game, commented on the Syracuse matchup:

"They have a terrific zone. They're long and they're big. We have to find ways to get the ball in the middle and space them out for driving lanes and short corner passes to our bigs. We feel that we've been playing better against zones down the stretch, so we feel like we can come into the game with a great mindset and be ready to play them."

As stated in the St. John's pregame post here on Rumble in the Garden, the Johnnies have to learn how to beat zones. Can Dwight Hardy get that jump shot falling? Can D.J. Kennedy and Paris Horne hit their open shots? If they can hit those open shots, if Justin Brownlee can make some plays inside the arc (not necessarily in the paint), and if the team can make Rick Jackson miss shots while Kris Joseph has to shoot contested jumpers...

They could win.

Could.

Yesterday's second half saw Dane Miller and Gilvydas Biruta get past a Red Storm defender to tip in a Rutgers offensive miss. Those offensive rebounds are the most dangerous ones - they negate all the good work that caused the initial missed shot in a split second. Boxing out is key this afternoon.

UPDATE: Halftime stats from ESPN

Team Stats
SJU
SYR
FG Made-Attempted
15-32 (.469)
10-27 (.370)
3P Made-Attempted
2-6 (.333)
3-10 (.300)
FT Made-Attempted
5-11 (.455)
9-14 (.643)
Rebounds (Off-Total)
7-16
8-20
Assists
8
6
Steals
4
5
Blocks
0
7
Turnovers
8
12
Fouls (Tech)
11 (0)
11 (0)
Largest Lead
6
9