St. John’s ends the calendar year with a loss, fall 88-66 to Seton Hall in New Jersey to Seton Hall. The Red Storm fall to 1-3 in Big East play, and 11-4 overall.
Seton Hall improves to 8-7, and have won their first Big East contest of the season, improving to 1-3.
Early on, St. John’s, starting two different starters in Dylan Addae-Wusu and O’Mar Stanley, looked much better than in their first two games. The Johnnies were composed, fairly precise, and knew that they wanted to get the ball in to the paint to Joel Soriano. It was a solid start, culminating in a 13-6 lead.
The warning signs were there, though. The offense struggled to get good looks, missing their first four shots before hitting seven straight. David Jones, coming off the bench because of an illness, hit his first pair of three, taking composed shots. The Johnnies looked physical, prepared, solid, and ready to impose chaos.
The Hall started chipping away. A 9-0 run by the Johnnies, based on strong work inside, was later erased when Seton Hall figured out how to compete in the inside, clogging the paint, and forcing hurried shots. The Pirates hit eight of 10 shots in one stretch, with Tyrese Samuel in particular effective on both ends.
The Pirates took the lead in the last five minutes and settled into the game, though the Red Storm tied the contest three times...
...until a 5-0 spurt to end the half. On the other side of the half, St. John’s could not find offensive comfort, and the Hall added a 6-0 run to start the second half, which became a 12-2 run over the next six minutes to push the lead to 15.
The second half, mostly, was one for everyone involved on the Queens side of this rivalry to try to forget. St. John’s was chasing the game badly, unable to impose chaos or get good looks; the ball movement was stifled by Seton Hall’s defensive aggression, stifling the Red Storm, dominating inside on both ends.
For their part, Seton Hall looked like a good offensive team for the first time in Big East play. The lanes opened up for the driving guards, the three-point looks were open, and the team in white and blue got to loose balls with inspired quickness.
With the game well in hand, Stanley scored four points, and Andre Curbelo put up 10 second-half points off the bench to make the score somewhat more respectable.
The end saw the Hall’s walk-ons, a fitting finish for a game where the Red Storm showed all the resistance of a museum turnstile. The Hall shot over 60% inside in the second half, and only took five threes in the second half (where they went one for five).
Joel Soriano had a double double, with 23 points and 11 total rebounds. David Jones had 12 points, none in the second half. Andre Curbelo added seven assists with his 10 points.
Al-Amir Dawes had 22 points for Seton Hall, tying his career high, for Seton Hall. Kadary Richmond had 19 points, nine rebounds, seven rebounds. Tyrese Samuel had 16 points and nine rebounds.
St. John’s next faces a surging Marquette team at home on Tuesday.