St. John’s sunk the Seton Hall Pirates Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden by a score of 78-70.
The Red Storm pick up their sixth win in Big East play this season following this win and move to 12-14 on the season. The great news for the Johnnies, is that this win pulls them one short of a win to bring them to .500 in Big East play and are two games shy of an overall .500 record.
On the reverse side of things, this loss for Seton Hall brings them down to 5-7 on the season in the Big East and 15-9 overall. It also brings an end to their two-game winning streak. This loss may have also affected Seton Hall’s bubble chances for the NCAA Tournament and they may need a bit more work going forward.
As for the game, the first half was a slow burn before St. John’s was able to capitalize on Seton Hall’s rash of turnovers and poor shooting and cover their own foibles in the process. Seton Hall, in the first half, shot the ball at a rate of 28.6% on 8-of-28 shooting and committed 11 turnovers. By comparison, St. John’s shot the ball at a rate of 41.7% on 15-of-36 shooting and committed just four turnovers in the first half.
In the second half, Seton Hall fixed a lot of their apparent issues with turnovers and shooting, but were never able to truly take a stab at cutting down their deficit to get back in the game. Though Seton Hall outscored St. John’s by a score of 43-41 in the second frame. The Pirates finished the half shooting a solid 50% as well. Imagine how the game played out if this was in the first half?
Marcus LoVett and Shamorie Ponds were the leading scorers this game with marks of 19 points and 17 points, respectively. However, neither of them were the best player on the floor today for the Johnnies as that honor goes to Tariq Owens who had himself a double-double day of 10 points and 12 rebounds. As mentioned, St. John’s only turned over the ball eight times over the span of the game. Due to Seton Hall’s issues with ball security, the Red Storm scored 30 of their 78 points off of the turnover. They also scored 32 points from their bench, which was widely successful compared to Seton Hall, who only posted a mere 13 points from the bench.
On the reverse side of things for Seton Hall, they shot the ball at an overall rate of 40% from the floor on 24-of-60 shooting, a stellar 45% from three point range, and 65% from the foul line on 17-of-26 shooting. The Pirates had two players today who posted double-doubles as Angel Delgado posted 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Michael Nzei posted 11 points and 12 rebounds. Neither were the leading scorer for the Pirates, though. as Desi Rodriguez finished the day with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting. Neither St. John’s or Seton Hall ran into major foul trouble today with only Kassoum Yakwe for the Johnnies and Myles Powell for the Pirates being the only ones to get high marks at four fouls apiece.
This win for St. John’s sets them up nicely for a chance to get back to .500 in their next game which happens to come against Butler, the same Butler who St. John’s managed to play spoiler against early on in the conference schedule. As for Seton Hall, they will have to head back to the drawing board before they play Creighton next time out.