In years like this where little goes right, a team needs to execute in crunch time. Needs to finish games. Needs good energy, smart play. Despite falling behind 14-2 within the first five minutes of the game, St. John's found their pep in the second half to fight their way back, and had a chance to win the game in regulation, tied 67-all against the eight-man roster of Providence.
They had a chance to win in the overtime, tied 77-all against the now seven-man Providence after Kadeem Batts fouled out.
They had a chance to win in the up 83-82 over Providence in the second overtime. But Max Hooper (7 minutes, 0 points), collected an inbounds pass and was trapped by Providence - who knew that the possession arrow went their way. No foul was called, they tied Hooper up, and the Friars regained the ball.
But no, this season isn't made of late magic.
A Bryce Cotton layup and foul drawn was the difference, and Providence earned a double-overtime road win over the flailing St. John's Red Storm. St. John's falls at Carnesecca Arena, 84-83, falling to 0-5 in the Big East and 9-8 on the season; Providence improves to 12-5, 2-2 in the Big East.
St. John's plays next on Saturday at 6:00 PM against Dartmouth from the Ivy League, a non-conference break for the struggling Storm. Providence faces Creighton at 8:00 PM in Rhode Island.
"The confidence is still there," Sir'Dominic Pointer said, "we're in a funk right now and we have to pull ourselves out of it."
"Naturally we're disappointed with the outcome," Lavin said, "but I felt the team really competed."
It was a lackluster start for the Red Storm, who played on Tuesday night in Chicago and flew back late. The slow start, of course, could also be chalked up to the malaise that has permeated the team on the court, where the defense is slow to react and the offense is a single-minded pursuit of the individual's basket.
Harrison and Jordan combined for 2 points in the first half on 0/5 shooting; the Johnnies had one assist, late in the half by Sampson. The Johnnies were down by as much as 13 points to Providence, despite a strong performance from JaKarr Sampson, who scored nine in the half.
But the second stanza saw the Johnnies emboldened by their defense and the interior play of God`sGift Achiuwa, Orlando Sanchez and JaKarr Sampson. Harrison - who had struggled all night - hit a three to give the Red Storm the lead.
The Friars fought back for the tie, but left time on the clock for some Carnesecca Arena magic.
St. John's called a play - a pick and roll between D`Angelo Harrison and Orlando Sanchez. Sanchez got the ball, and bricked a three-pointer.
In the first overtime, St. John's came out with fire, scoring four straight. But once again, they found themselves tied and with the ball after Bryce Cotton's score.
On the second chance to pull out a win, Harrison drove into the paint and lost the ball, recovered it, and launched a wild shot off of the side of the backboard.
The second overtime - the third chance at a win - featured Phil Greene trying it drive and draw a foul; his attempt was foiled by the collapsing Friar defense.
St. John's was led by 16 points from JaKarr Sampson, though he was quiet in the overtimes, hampered by a leg cramp. Phil Greene IV added 15, and Harrison added 14 on 4/15 shooting.
Providence got 21 from Bryce Cotton, 18 from Long Island's Tyler Harris and 17 each from LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts.
St. John's gave up 12 of 17 allowed offensive rebounds in the lackluster first half; the Friars scored 12 second-chance points in the first stanza.
The Friars enjoyed 36 attempts at the free throw line; St. John's had 24 tries.
St. John's shot 1/10 from beyond the arc.
Chris Obekpa was limited by his recovery from food poisoning.
God'sGift Achiuwa started and added 11 points and eight total rebounds.
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