Phil Greene IV really wanted to get the heck out of Syracuse with a victory. Like, really really badly.
Down three points with 4:08 remaining, the senior scored eight straight points, including two three-pointers, to take a 60-57 lead that St. John's would not relinquish. With 58 seconds left on the clock, Greene, wide open from the corner, hit one more three-pointer for the fun of it, putting the nail in the coffin and earning the Red Storm's first win in Syracuse since 1999.
After a sloppy first half in which St. John's led 32-28, things picked up steam and for Steve Lavin's squad. They took an eight point lead with 12 minutes remaining. But like they have in other games this season, they allowed Syracuse to hang around, and the Orange took advantage. 'Cuse went on a 12-2 run with just above five minutes remaining to bring the raucous crowd at the Carrier Dome into a frenzy. They were not sent home that way though, thanks to the heroics of Greene, who finished with 18 points.
But as much as the end revolved around Greene, it was D'Angelo Harrison who shined for St. John's. The senior finished with a game-high 24 points, shooting 4-6 from 3 point land and was perfect from the charity stripe (8-8). Rysheed Jordan, who once again came off the bench, also joined in the double-digit scoring fun. He scored 11 points to go along with his two assists.
Though he didn't light up the score sheet with only five points, Chris Obekpa had another monstrous game on the glass. He secured 16 rebounds and blocked four Syracuse shots. He was a terror in the paint that Syracuse could not overcome.
Syracuse also had three players in double figures. Rakeem "It's coming so soon!" Christmas led the Orange with 15 points, while Michael Gbinije and Chris McCullough each chipped in 13. Christmas was the Orange's version of Obekpa on the glass, as he came down with 15 rebounds of his own while blocking 3 St. John's shots.
Late in the game, things began to get chippy and we saw the Big East we used to know and love. Syracuse took the ball on a break away, but Sir'Dominic Pointer caught up committed a flagrant foul that caused quite a commotion underneath the basket. Players scuffled and had to be restrained, although nothing too out of hand took place and cooler heads prevailed.
St. John's comes away with an impressive road victory and improves their record to 6-1 on the season. Syracuse drops to 5-3.
The Red Storm's road gets a little easier for the time being, as they'll have four days off before hosting Farleigh-Dickerson College. That game is set for 8:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 10 from Madison Square Garden.
For now, the age old question has finally been answered. Yes, a storm can take place inside a dome.
And if that storm is led by Phil Greene, as Syracuse found out, it can wreak much havoc.