St. John’s was the better team for nearly 30 minutes in this one, but those other 10 minutes were enough to sink the Red Storm’s pirate ship losing 84-72to Seton Hall.
Like the Charles Dickens quote, this game was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair. The Johnnies took us all through the gambit of emotions.
It was a concerning start for the Red Storm. Andre Curbelo had 2 turnovers in the first 3 minutes, followed by turnovers from David Jones and Joel Soriano making it 4 turnovers in the first 4 minutes. To make matters worse, Seton Hall had 6 buckets at the rim in the first 7 minutes.
The Johnnies proceeded to tighten up the defense, and the Pirates were 2 for 11 at the rim for the rest of the half.
The offense came easy for St. John’s in the first half. Seton Hall seemed genuinely surprised that the Red Storm ran a high pick and roll on every possession line they have all year. The scrambling Pirate defense led to several open looks from deep for the Johnnies, and St. John’s — especially early — knocked down the open looks finishing the half shooting 5 for 7 from beyond the arc.
St. John’s had a 13-point lead less than 4 minutes to play, and a 2-minute skid threw away most of the Red Storm’s lead. The Johnnies gave up 3 largely uncontested threes in a row, which powered Seton Hall to an 12-0 run to close the gap.
A Posh Alexander layup attempted to salvage what was left of the half, but St. John’s went into the half with only a 3-point lead, 35-32.
The game got chippy in the second half with Curbelo and KC Ndefo each got technical fouls 7 minutes into the half with Curbelo being subsequently ejected. There are two kinds of technical fouls with this St. John’s teams. One type is the whiny chirpy technical fouls at the end of an already lost game. The other — the type we had tonight — is where the Red Storm turned the game into a street fight, and the officials are worried they’re losing control of the contest.
St. John’s attacked the basket in the second half, drawing the nervous whistles of the referees while Seton Hall weaved for weaving’s sake around the perimeter.
Just as the Johnnies were pulling away, Seton Hall went on another run to get the lead back. The Pirates had four players in foul trouble before the Red Storm stopped attacking the basket while Seton Hall hit 3 more threes in a row. Again.
That was it for the Johnnies. Seton Hall’s 18-4 run followed by St. John’s simply pacing the Pirates for the final 4 minutes put the Red Storm behind by a margin where the appeared uncompetitive.
In the end, St. John’s lost to Seton Hall by a score of 84-72.
Next, St. John’s heads to Cincinnati to take on Xavier on Saturday at 5:00 PM.
St. John’s Red Storm
AJ Storr: 15 points (4-12 FG, 3-6 3PT), 3 rebounds
Posh Alexander: 13 points (5-10 FG), 4 rebounds, 4 assists
David Jones: 11 points (4-9 FG, 2-4 3PT), 4 rebounds
Seton Hall Pirates
Al-Amir Dawes: 21 points (5-14 FG, 4-9 3PT), 4 rebounds, 2 assists
Kadar Richmond: 15 points (6-17 FG, 1-3 3PT), 13 rebounds, 7 assists