St. John’s gave up a 16-point lead to Providence, but didn’t lose the game pulling out victory over Providence, 73-68.
Coming into this one, the Johnnies were losers of five of their last six, choking away three of those to Villanova, Seton Hall, and Butler. In what appeared to be another scheduled loss against Providence, the Red Storm prevailed.
To St. John’s benefit, Mike Anderson’s teams have played Providence tough, coming in with a record of 3-4 since Anderson took over as head coach of St. John’s.
In tonight’s action, Andre Curbelo missed this one because of a coaching decision.
The first ten minutes of the first half and the second ten minutes of the first half were drastically different. In the first ten minutes, the Johnnies went on three separate 7-0 runs to accumulate a 16 point lead. AJ Storr and Dylan Addae-Wusu were key in building that lead. Each had 5 points apiece in the first ten minutes and were a combined 4 of 6 from the floor.
After ten minutes in the first half, St. John’s led Providence 25-9.
In the final ten minutes of the half, the Red Storm only managed to score 12 points while Providence scored 26.
The trouble for the Red Storm started when Posh Alexander and David Jones each picked up their second fouls. With both players either sitting on the bench or having to play less aggressive than they’re used to, both sides of the floor looked passive for St. John’s.
The offense continued to be designed to get Joel Soriano in the post. However, the Johnnies struggled to complete entry passes to the big man. When they weren’t able to get him the ball, the offense looked like four guys on the perimeter with Soriano posting up and the guy with the ball doing repeated pass fakes to try and get Soriano the ball.
Even when Soriano got the ball, he didn’t do much with it. Soriano finished the half with 2 points (1-4 FG), 5 rebounds, and 1 assists.
At the half, St. John’s lead shrank to 37-35.
The beginning of the second half felt eerily familiar to the end of the first. Providence continued chipping away at the Red Storm lead, and three minutes in, the Friars tied up the game at 39.
Back to back buckets by Soriano gave St. John’s a 4-point lead. Both teams traded buckets for the following nine minutes or so before a little 6-0 run from Addae-Wusu, Soriano, and Storr gave the Red Storm some semblance of a cushion.
The next four minutes or so was made up almost exclusively of bricks and free throws, which worked to the Johnnies’ favor by Providence failing to gain any ground on the scoreboard.
David Jones, in his return after the passing of his father, played a gritty game. Jones had a particularly inefficient half with 9 points on 3 of 13 from the floor. However, the whole second half was a physical rock fight with nothing easy coming at the basket. Despite the physicality at the basket, Jones kept driving and attempted 4 shots in the second half at the rim.
Despite Addae-Wusu scoring the only field goal for the Red Storm in the final seven minutes of the game, St. John’s was able to hold on to beat Providence, 73-68.
St. John’s Red Storm
David Jones: 16 points (6-17 FG, 1-5 3PT), 7 rebounds
AJ Storr: 15 points (6-11 FG, 1-5 3PT), 5 rebounds
Dylan Addae-Wusu: 13 points (4-9 FG, 1-4 3PT), 6 rebounds, 3 assists
Bryce Hopkins: 29 points (10-20 FG, 3-3 3PT), 9 rebounds
Devin Carter: 12 points (5-10 FG, 1-3 3PT), 7 rebounds, 4 assists