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St. John’s Pillaged at Seton Hall, 80-65

Red Storm could not overcome 28-0 run by the Pirates

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Seton Hall Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

Outside of a 10-minute stretch in the middle of the first half, St. John’s was dominated in every facet by Seton Hall and lose, 80-65.

The big storyline coming into this was the absence of Coach Rick Pitino. Pitino tested positive today for COVID-19after he was suffering from COVID-like symptoms. The St. John’s coach is expected to return later this week contingent upon his symptoms. Tonight, associate head coach Steve Masiello took on the mantle of head coach.

In the words of Dorothy Parker, “Beauty is only skin deep, but ugly goes clean to the bone,” and boy, was the Red Storm offense ugly for both the first 6 12 minutes and final 4 minutes of the contest. St. John’s missed its first 10 shot attempts, 7 of which were jump shots.

The Johnnies responded with a 10-0 run — by 4 different scorers — to get back into the game. By then, the game became watchable basketball, albeit still sloppy on the Red Storm side. However, that was about the only bright spot for the Johnnies in the half. Only 5 Johnnies scored in the first half before the wheels came off again.

Led by former Johnnie Dylan Addae-Wusu, the Pirates responded with a 14-0 run of their own to end the half.

Part of the issue for the Red Storm was the lack of presence in the paint. Seton Hall dominated paint score to the tune of 22-8. Joel Soriano had an unusual dud performance in the first half scoring only 6 points on 3 of 7 from the floor to go along with only 2 rebounds.

Because of St. John’s early and late stretches of mental lapses, the Red Storm went into the half down 38-24, which was a season low in points for the Johnnies in the first half this season.

I would like to write that it got better, but it sure didn’t. Seton Hall opened the half with another 14-0 run, which combined with the run to close out the first half was a 28-0 run spanning over 8 minutes.

As a result, most of the second half was garbage time. Soriano got benched shortly after Seton Hall’s run, and finished the night with 6 points (3-8 FG) and 4 rebounds in only 19 minutes of play.

A couple Johnnies made good impressions during garbage time, including Zuby Ejiofor and Driss Traore. Ejiofor played with his perpetual high-end motor and finished the half with 11 points (4-4 FG) and 4 rebounds. Traore, the perpetual high-end character guy, also played with high-end effort and added 4 points (2-4 FG) and 1 rebound.

The game mercifully came to an end, and not a moment too soon, with St. John’s picking up its worst loss in recent memory at Seton Hall, 80-65, a score that looks much closer than the game actually was.

Next, the Red Storm take on the 17th ranked Marquette Golden Eagles at Madison Square Garden at noon on Saturday.

St. John’s Red Storm

Daniss Jenkins: 17 points (6-14 FG, 3-8 3FG), 2 rebounds, 5 assists

Zuby Ejiofor: 13 points (5-6 FG, 1-1 3FG), 4 rebounds, 2 assists

Glenn Taylor, Jr.: 4 points (1-2 FG, 1-2 3FG), 7 rebounds, 2 assists

Seton Hall Pirates

Al-Amir Dawes: 21 points (5-10 FG, 3-5 3FG), 1 rebound, 1 assist

Dylan Addae-Wusu: 16 points (4-12 FG, 3-6 3FG), 10 rebounds, 5 assists