It wasn't pretty.
A three pointer from Will Overton at the final buzzer would have given San Francisco State the win they deserved. The Gators outplayed the Johnnies much of the afternoon, but couldn't get the last three-pointer to fall, losing 82-80.
St. John's found themselves having to come back on a Division II opponent this afternoon after a spate of poor transition defense and continued poor perimeter marking against San Francisco State.
Weak perimeter defense and shooting woes - settling for perimeter shots - allowed the visiting San Francisco State Gators to get comfortable. Indifferent defense by the Johnnies and frustration on offense allowed the Gators to bulge a lead and score at will on fast breaks in the second half.
Steve Lavin's team found ways to bother the Gators at the basket and funneled State inside, especially after Sir`Dominic Pointer was switched onto the scoring Nefi Perdomo. A pull up jumper with 17 seconds left gave St. John's the last lead over a tough and effective San Francisco State team - 16-12 in Division II last season.
Next up: a second exhibition game on Monday evening against Humboldt State, 7:30 PM at Carnesecca Arena.
On the upside: in the first half, St. John's three-point shooting was more active - and successful - than last year's edition of the team. D`Angelo Harrison finished the half with 13 points of his game-high 29 points, playing mostly within the offense.
Interior play: Orlando Sanchez filled the box score, ran the break a trio of times as a point guard, and helped make the paint area on defense a buttery-slick zone for the San Francisco State Gators, who had 12 turnovers. In the absence of Chris Obekpa - suspended for a violation of University rules - he and God`sGift Achiuwa often were a solid deterrent in the paint.
Hero: Rysheed Jordan is a very good athlete/ player. He willed the Johnnies back at points in the second half, was active at times on the glass, and could penetrate for his own shot.
On the downside: An inability to stop the Gators' penetration - which led to kickouts for threes - kept the visitors in the game. Nick Calcaterra dropped 12 in the first.
Glass: Rebounding was still a struggle, with the Gators able to extend possessions in the second half against a shocked St. John's side. Gift and Sanchez made their contributions, and offensive rebounding was attempted.
Missing: JaKarr Sampson struggled, shooting 1/8 from the field and 1/4 from beyond the arc. When he tried to get involved, he struggled; his frustration bled over to the defensive end, where he didn't get back to defend the rim.
Hooper?: The Johnnies tried to find looks for Hooper, but he was beatable defensively (and played well off of his man) and only shot 0/2 from the field, both treys.
DNPs: Marc-Antoine Bourgault, Felix Balamou, and Christian Jones did not see time on the court against San Francisco State.