After the St. John's Red Storm looked to be on a roll with a three game winning streak, they disappointed against the Incarnate Word Cardinals. The Johnnies looked out of it as they were outplayed by their opponents from the Southland Conference in their first loss at home.
It was a solid start to the game for St. John's. They started with a 9-0 run in the first half and looked like it would be an easy night at the office. But, Incarnate Word responded time and time again and kept the Johnnies on their heels. It was troublesome as the Cardinals held the 35-26 lead at the half. Many expected a Red Storm comeback in the second half, but it was just the opposite. Incarnate Word kept scoring and St.John's couldn't seem to stop the duo of Derail Green and Jontrell Walker. Green and Walker had 24 and 20 points respectively to lead the Cardinals as they were able to pull away and ended up beating St. John's, 73-51, to earn their first road win of the year.
Let's look at three things we learned from this game.
1. What happened to St.John's?
Which Big East team confuses you more?— Big East Coast Bias (@becb_sbn) December 19, 2015
It was a very bizarre game from the Red Storm as they fell to 7-4 on the season. They were on a three game winning streak, recently beat the Syracuse Orange, and looked like they could make some noise in the Big East. But they failed to show up and they paid for it dearly. Thankfully for St.John's, this could be called the first "bad loss" of the year. Losing to ranked teams like Indiana, Vanderbilt, and an 8-1 Fordham team is not bad. But this loss was bad. Hopefully this does not become a worrying trend for Chris Mullin's team.
2. Free-Throw Shooting
Both teams shot around the same amount of free throws in the game with Incarnate Word attempting 15 and St. John's attempting 13, but the free throw percentage was totally different. The Cardinals shot 93.3% from the line and St. John's shot a poor 53.8%. The worst was St. John's big man Amar Alibegovic, who shot 1 out of 5 from the line. Mullin has to get his team to shoot better from the line as they play NJIT next. NJIT is the seventh best team in the country from the stripe shooting a 77.7% average.
3. Poor game from Fredrico Mussini
It was a poor game from Fredrico Mussini as he scored only seven points on the night, which is half of his average of 14.3 per game. Durand Johnson led the way for the Red Storm as Mussini seemed to have an off night. He shot poorly from the field and the only positive was the four rebounds he had. As the leading scorer on the team, he must step up if St. John's wants to be competitive in the Big East.