A second half run by Dayton overpowers St. John’s, and the Red Storm fall to the Flyers, 88-81.
After beating North Texas 53-52 yesterday afternoon, the Red Storm played in another matinee in the Charleston Classic Bracket for a chance to play in the tournament’s championship.
It was the Johnnies’ offensive rebounds (5) and free throws (12-13) that kept the game close in the first half. This blue collar approach picked up the slack for the Red Storm’s otherwise underwhelming performance, as the team outside of Joel Soriano shot 7-21 (33%) from the field and 3-9 (33%) from deep.
Anytime St. John’s is referred to as doing well at something blue collar, Joel Soriano’s name is always close behind. It took a while for Soriano to get involved in the game, but once he did, he carried the team. In the final 13 minutes of the half, Soriano added 14 points (5-8 FG, 1-1 3FG) and 4 rebounds.
Defensively, St. John’s did little to protect its own basket. Dayton score 22 of their 38 first half points in the paint, and shot an efficient 8 of 9 at the rim. The Flyers score 10 points at the rim in the final 4 minutes of the half, which may be indicative of Red Storm fatigue from playing a top-heavy rotation on back-to-back days.
Despite the struggles from all the Johnnies except Soriano, the Red Storm went into the half up 40-38.
The game stay close for the first 10 minutes or so of the second half, and looked much like the first half, Dayton kept scoring in the paint, and St. John’s kept getting second chances. A 9-0 run by Dayton midway through the half gave Dayton a lead by as many points. Dayton’s DaRon Holmes II lead the run with 5 points (a three and a pair of free throws). Holmes finished the half with 14 points (3-10 FG, 1-2 3FG), 2 rebounds, and 1 assist.
St. John’s second half efforts to slow Dayton’s scoring in the paint did little to slow down the Flyers’ paint product, and to make matters worse, sent Dayton to the free throw line more frequently than the first half. Dayton only attempted 4 free throw in the first half, and was 19 of 24 from the free throw line in the second half while still scoring another 22 points in the paint.
To make matters worse, the Johnnies stopped forcing their way to the free throw line, and their free throw attempts dropped to 5 attempts in the second half.
Tempers flared toward the end of the contest, with technicals being issued to St. John’s Glenn Taylor, Jr. and Joel Soriano as well as Dayton’s Koby Brea. Brea got tossed a couple minutes later for second technical foul, and Soriano and Taylor fouled out in more traditional fashion.
St. John’s was not able to rally late to overcome the Flyers earlier run, and lost 88-81.
Next, the Red Storm will play the loser of Houston and Utah on Sunday at 5:30 PM.
St. John’s Red Storm
Joel Soriano: 21 points (8-13 FG, 1-1 3FG), 9 rebounds
Jordan Dingle: 14 points (5-10 FG, 1-2 3FG), 2 rebounds, 1 assist
Daniss Jenkins: 12 points (5-13 FG, 2-8 3FG), 3 rebounds, 8 assists
Daro Holmes II: 21 points (6-14 FG, 1-2 3FG), 5 rebounds, 1 assist
Nate Santos: 18 points (6-8 FG, 1-1 3FG), 5 rebounds, 3 assists