Winning against Villanova didn't mean St. John's had a credible answer for Providence the second time around once again, Providence made St. John’s play slow, and St. John’s got behind fast, losing 78-59.
It is about a three hour drive between St. John’s and Providence, and the trip back to Queens will likely feel a lot longer than that.
The Red Storm fall to 7-7 in conference and 19-8 overall, while Providence improves to 5-9 in conference and 15-12 overall. St. John’s heads back to the Garden to take on the Pirates of Seton Hall on Saturday night.
For the second straight game, St. John’s did not start well. Providence opened the game on a 9-0 run, and St. John’s did not score until LJ Figueroa knocked down a three 7 minutes into the game.
When the Red Storm pulled within 2 points soon thereafter, it started to feel like St. John’s had settled into the game, but Providence pulled away (like Lucy with the football for Charlie Brown?).
Providence dictated how the game was to be played from the tip by taking control of the glass.
In 16 combined first half minutes, Marvin Clark II, who picked up a pair of fouls early in the half, Sedee Keita, and Josh Roberts grabbed only 2 rebounds.
Providence capitalized on the poor rebounding of St. John’s bigs. Providence, which averaged 11.2 offensive rebounds per game in conference play, grabbed 7 first offensive boards in the half.
Defensively, Providence mixed in a lot of zone, and St. John’s was unable to capitalize. The Red Storm shot only 3 of 8 from deep, and settled for several contested midrange jumpers.
Although St. John’s was able to get to the basket at times, going 9 of 14 on layups and 2 of 3 on dunks, they were not able to do so with enough consistency to knock Providence out of its zone.
Providence’s Nate Watson led the way in the first half scoring 12 points (4/7 FG) and grabbing 7 rebounds. Watson led the Friars into halftime up 34-26.
Things did not improve in the second half.
Clark, having played only 8 total minutes, started the half off fouling out with 17:28 remaining. From there, Providence only created more separation.
Offensively, St. John’s could not get anything going in the second half, much like the malaise of the first half. The Red Storm shot 2 of 9 from deep in the half and even shot a poor 7 of 13 from the free throw line.
The Friars were whipping the ball around on offense, finishing the half with 9 assists on 12 made field goals.
Providence picked up 3 more offensive rebounds in the second half's extended garbage time, bringing their game total to 10.
While Watson had another quality half for the Friars, Alpha Diallo led the way offensively in the second half. Diallo scored 10 points (3/6 FG, 0/1 3PT) and dished out a pair assists before Ed Cooley called off the dogs.
St. John's got some minutes from Marcellus Earlington, who had played sparingly; he added 10 points, tied with Justin Simon second-best on the team this evening. Marvin Clark II went scoreless and Shamorie Ponds was held to four points (with a team-high 5 assists).
The final buzzer finally sounded soon after the Providence walk-onswent in, and St. John’s lost to Providence, 78-59.
St. John’s Red Storm
LJ Figueroa: 16 points (7/19 FG, 2/4 3PT), 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 turnovers
Justin Simon: 10 points (3/6 FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 turnovers
Marcellus Earlington: 10 points (4/6 FG, 0/1 3PT), 5 rebounds
Nate Watson: 21 points (8/12 FG), 9 rebounds, 2 turnovers
Alpha Diallo: 16 points (4/14 FG, 0/1 3PT), 11 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 turnover