It's a win. In the end it's a win. Despite St. John's making a depleted Seton Hall team look very good, it's a win.
In a see-saw game played in front of the number of people that fit into a Statue of Liberty ferry, the Johnnies fell behind early and tied the game on a JaKarr Sampson dunk with a minute and a half left. With the ball and ten seconds left, Steve Lavin drew up a play for Rysheed Jordan. Jordan dribbled at the top of the key and waited... waited... waited...
Instead of shooting, Jordan threaded an impossible pass past Aaron Geramipoor, who had stepped away from Chris Obekpa; Obekpa took the pass, went for the dunk and was fouled with a pair of seconds to spare; he hit one of two free throws for the lead and St. John's held on for the victory.
St. John's wins at Seton Hall for the first time since 1998, breaking a eight-game losing streak against the Pirates. The Red Storm (16-9, 6-6 Big East) face the Georgetown Hoyas next on Sunday night. Seton Hall (13-12, 4-8 Big East) faces Georgetown next as well, but does not play until February 20.
[Box score | Game thread]
The hottest team in the Big East began with a cold start on the ice and snow coated night. St. John's shooting was solid in the first half; but their inability to hold on to the ball gave the Hall a chance to build a lead. Seton Hall made 16 shots in the first half; only two of those makes were away from the rim, not including free throws.
St. John's had 11 turnovers in the half, succumbing to Seton Hall's extended pressure, and gave up 30 points in the paint. Patrik Auda played a huge part with the absence of suspended Brian Oliver and Eugene Teague, two starters.
St. John's played better defense and started hot in the second half, gaining a lead of as much as six points. But the Hall had a strong response, holding the Red Storm scoreless for almost four minutes while scoring on a trio of layups and a pair of free throws for a four point 67-63 lead at 3:10.
Seton Hall did not score again. D`Angelo Harrison blocked a Sterling Gibbs layup attempt at 1:10 left in the game. Seton Hall took a time out but could only manage a long three-pointer from Fuquan Edwin before the Rysheed Jordan pass.
Tied for fifth in the Big East, St. John's has an opportunity to enter the top half of the league for the first time against Georgetown on Sunday night.
St. John's shared the scoring. D`Angelo Harrison scored 12 points on 3/8 shooting (no three-pointers taken); Chris Obekpa, Rysheed Jordan and Sir`Dominic Pointer each added 10 for the Johnnies. JaKarr Sampson had 9 points and a career-high four assists. Phil Greene IV had eight points, all in the first half.
Seton Hall was led by Fuquan Edwin's 25 points and four steals; Patrik Auda had 15, 12 in the first half. Sterling Gibbs scored 8 points on 2/13 shooting, one of his worst shooting performances of the season.