Game Recap & Preview: Johnnies lose heartbreaker, prepare for Yellow Jackets

Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sport

St. John's dropped a tough one to Penn State in the Barclays Center Classic semifinals. But with Georgia Tech on tap today, there is little time to dwell for Steve Lavin's bunch.

It wasn't Madison Square Garden, and it wasn't against the New York Knicks, but St. John's junior guard D'Angelo Harrison did his best Reggie Miller impersonation in New York City on Friday night.

Harrison, who finished with a team-high 20 points, scored seven in the final one minute and thirty seconds of regulation. An effort that had the feeling of a St. John's victory. But a missed free that would have cinched the win for the Johnnies sent the game into overtime and changed the outcome to this Brooklyn storybook ending.

It was in that extra session, much like for a majority of the game before the Harrison scoring binge, that had too much Penn State. The Nittany Lions (6-1) scored 14 points in overtime, finishing the game on a seven to nothing run.

Tim Frazier, the Penn State fifth year senior star, tallied a game-high 28 points, hitting 17 of his 20 free throw attempts. While D.J. Newbill went 3-of-6 from behind the arc on his way to 25 points for Penn State, which advances to face Ole Miss in the Barclays Center Classic title game tonight.

As for the Red Storm (4-2), it's another one of those classic learning moments. They squandered Harrison's impressive performance and a career-high 15 points from transfer Max Hooper. In fact, Hooper nailed five 3-pointers in the loss. And for a team shooting around 22 percent from deep, that's a much-needed jolt.

Phil Greene IV, the junior who has found his scoring touch in the early going this season, also contributed 14 points.

But despite the team effort and the singular scoring output late by Harrison, the St. John's will have to accept it lost while assisting on 20 buckets and outrebounding the Lions, 50-41. It will have to put the awful taste of losing a game about thirty minutes from campus. The Red Storm will have to do all of things, and quickly.

That's because the consolation game of the Barclays Center Classic brings Georgia Tech today at 2 p.m.

Game Details:
Barclays Center Classic

  • When: Today
  • Where:Barclays Center
  • Time: 2 p.m.
  • Television: NBC Sports Network

The Yellow Jackets (5-2) lost to Ole Miss in the nightcap on Friday night, 87-77. A losing effort, even with four players scoring 10 or more points. That includes 24 points from sophomore Solomon Poole. The sharpshooting guard hit five threes while shooting 9-of-16 from the field.

Usually it's Trae Golden leading the way for the Wreck, but against the Rebels the senior guard was held in check. Golden managed just 10 points while shooting 4-of-12. If it wasn't for Poole's scoring binge, Georgia Tech would have been in an even worse situation against the Rebs.

And it wasn't just Golden who struggled last night for Brian Gregory's squad. As a team Georgia Tech missed 27 of its first 34 shots from the field. During that stretch Ole Miss, which led at one point by 22, cruised to a 14 point halftime lead. Too big of an advantage for Tech to surmount.

As for St. John's, the short trip from Queens to Brooklyn was supposed to be another opportunity. And when Harrison took over late, it looked like the Johnnies would answer the door. But a gut-wrenching loss to the Lions means this sort of homecoming for the Red Storm, as Brooklyn is the birth place of the university, can only be salvaged.

It's not a fairy tale now, but St. John's has to act quick before the Barclays Center Classic becomes a horror story.

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