St. John’s may have had good stretches on the road in Newark, but a dominating first half from Seton Hall allowed most of the game to be a laugher, as the Seton Hall Pirates broke a three-game losing streak, winning 86-73 at the Prudential Center.
St. John’s falls to 9-12 on the season and 3-5 in the Big East, after another lackluster offensive first half - and after having their paint defense exposed, once again. Seton Hall improves to 13-6, 3-5 in the Big East.
On paper, St. John’s first half approach wasn’t terrible. But against the size of Seton Hall, the Johnnies were restricted to jump shots, unable (and at times unwilling) to look for pick and roll plays, driving opportunities or interior touches.
A mid first half drought came. It was a slow bleed, with Angel Delgado snapping up rebounds on both ends and missed jump shots/ contested threes from the Red Storm.
After two quick fouls on Tariq Owens who had come in off of the bench, and two more quick fouls on Darien Williams, the semblance of interior defense was nearly gone - and the Hall worked off of the Red Storm’s inability to control the glass.
With eight minutes left, a missed jumper by Khadeen Carrington was kept alive by Angel Delgado, dominating in the paint. And the ball swung to the left wing, where Madison Jones was wide open as the Red Storm scrambled to identify defensive assignments. He hit the wide open three, with time to call in an order for wings and fries.
And the half continued like that. The Hall’s Angel Delgado had 14 total rebounds; St. John’s as a team had 15 total rebounds. The Hall’s lead was as much as 22 in the half, and St. John’s shot 7/20 inside the arc, 2/9 from beyond the arc, despite only four turnovers in that first half.
The second half was more competitive but the damage was done. A 2-2-1 press helped speed up Seton Hall and the ball movement was better. Still, Seton Hall led by as many as 27 points. At the end of the game, Seton Hall had scored 46 of their 86 points in the paint, and their three-point shooting was greatly helped by the Red Storm’s need to send guards to help inside.
Marcus LoVett led St. John’s with 22 points. Bashir Ahmed had 19 points with a team-high seven rebounds; 13 of his points came in the second half. Shamorie Ponds was held to nine points on 3/11 shooting, while Malik Ellison had six points on 1/5 shooting and three turnovers.
Angel Delgado had 21 points and 20 total rebounds for Seton Hall. Myles Powell added 19 points off of the bench.