St. John’s couldn’t cash out when they were up big in the Naismith Bracket of the Basketball Hall of Fame Tip-Off, dropping the game to Arizona State by the score of 80-67.
St. John’s faces UMass tomorrow afternoon in the consolation game at 3:30 PM. UMass lost a competitive game against Virginia, 58-46.
St. John’s started off with a sparkling beginning. Josh Roberts located misses and dunked them, Arizona State had four turnovers, Nick Rutherford scored, and there was a 13-point lead for the Red Storm to work with.
They needed it, and more.
The second unit for the Red Storm came in and the young unti struggled against the length of Arizona State, as their guards Jaelen House and Rob Edwards got the scoring going. The Sun Devils took a short-lived one-point lead, but LJ Figueroa and Jullian Champagnie boosted the team in the last 8 minutes. A 13-4 run gave the Red Storm the 40-31 lead.
Whether it was adjustments or jitters, the Sun Devils came roaring back with a 13-0 run to take a 48-44 lead.
Remy Martin, who had been quiet and mistake-prone, got started, hitting a long two to tie the game and after a Johnnies miss, scoring on a layup in traffic over Julian Champagnie. He scored 11 straight for ASU, taking advantage of a pair of Red Storm turnovers along the way.
Mustapha Heron struggled throughout the game, looking for foul calls that didn’t come. His struggles were most noticeable, but others also struggled inside the arc against the length of the Sun Devils, seeing wingspans they had not yet encountered this season.
With two fouls in the middle of the first half, three fouls after 30 seconds in the second half, and four fouls by the middle of the second half, Josh Roberts was not able to be the high-flying two-way clean up crew. Rasheem Dunn found that his quickness did not earn him scores as easily as his skill did against the likes of Columbia.
And the whole team was fed a taste of their full court pressure-and-trap medicine, being sped up, throwing passes to invisible players, dropping passes, and playing the second half out of sync.
Mike Anderson’s crew has a chance to leave Connecticut on a high note, facing a young UMass team tomorrow afternoon.
St. John’s Red Storm
Julian Champagnie: 15 points (5/10 FG, 1 / 3 3PT), 7 rebounds
LJ Figueroa: 17 points (6/14 FG, 2/4 3PT), 6 rebounds
Remy Martin: 19 points (6/15 FG), 5 TO
Romello White: 15 points (6/6 FG), 9 rebounds