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Duke vs. St. John’s analysis: The Red Storm's Crossover Examination

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Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

Duke defeated St. John’s 77-68 at Madison Square Garden on Sunday

Tyus Jones led Duke with 22 points and fellow Blue Devils' players Quinn Cook and Jahlil Okafor scored 17 points.

Duke dominated in the first half, but St. John's ended the half with a 43-39 lead, thanks to a three point buzzer beater by D'Angelo Harrison.

After the half, St. John's controlled the game, and it looked like St. John's would have a signature win in the books. Duke went on a huge run though with a only minutes left in the game, and the Blue Devils went on to win it.

St. John's had four players score double digits in points, with Sir'Dominic Pointer notching 21 points, Rysheed Jordan had 18 points, Phil Greene IV scored 13 and D'Angelo Harrison put up 12.

It was a winnable game for St. John's, but the Red Storm was completely outmatched and outplayed in the second half.

St. John’s box


Courtesy of Kenpom.com

Duke box:


Courtesy of Kenpom.com

Objective Observations:

  • Duke had no answer for St. John's transition attack for most of the game. By the end of the first half, the Johnnies had 15 points off the transition alone.
  • By the second half,  Duke was able to stop the transition game by utilizing a zone defense instead of a man-to-man.

  • Sir'Dominic Pointer and Rysheed Jordan were the motors for the Johnnies. Pointer finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, and three steals and Jordan had 18 points, four boards, three assists, and two steals.

  • This was Pointer's second consecutive double-double.

  • One of the catalysts for Duke was Tyus Jones. Jones went 10-10 from the charity strike

  • Duke outrebounded St, John's on the glass 44-29. The major battle was between Jahlil Okafor and Chris Obekpa, and Obekpa played well early on, but by the end of the game Okafor outplayed him.

  • D'Angelo Harrison had a solid game with 13 points, but was quiet at critical parts of the contest.

  • St, John's scored zero points off the bench, while Duke who had 10 bench points

What it means?

St. John's was very close to delaying Coach K's celebrations, but in the end could not hold off a surging Duke in the final five minutes of the game. Excluding the final five minutes, St. John's played a strong game, proving that they could be one of the more talented teams in the Big East.

The inability to close out games has been a problem for St. John's in quite a few games this season, particularly their contests against DePaul and Seton Hall.

Fortunately their next game is against Creighton, a team standing at 9-12 and 10th in the Big East. The Johnnies missed a chance at winning a big game against Duke, but if the Red Storm defeat Creighton, it gives them hope that they can rise back in the Big East standings.