The floor of the Carnesecca Arena in Queens saw the battle between cellar dwellers of the Big East on Saturday afternoon, as St. John’s played host to the Blue Demons of DePaul. Heading into the clash, both teams were 0-3 in conference play.
With the tone set for the basement battle, the game got underway and from the onset had a tetchy feel to it as neither team had a feel of confidence in their play, but things righted themselves, at least for one side, as DePaul pulled away with a 91-74 victory.
For a brief moment it appeared that DePaul would be without Eli Cain for a large portion of the game as he had to sit with what appeared to be an injury, he was able to get back into the fray though, playing 38 minutes. The main story for DePaul was Marin Maric and Max Strus, both of whom were the focal points for the Blue Demon attack, with double-double performances by both players. Maric’s in particular was quite spectacular as they featured game high totals in points with 25 and 11 rebounds. Strus, for his part, had 22 points and 10 rebounds, one short of tying Maric for the game lead. Still though, for all his effort DePaul placed a lot of “Strust” in the game of Max Strus.
As a team, DePaul shot the ball at a rate of 49% from the field, 47% from three point range, and a rather uninspiring 76% from the free throw line. They out rebounded St. John’s by a wide margin at 46 rebound to 30 rebounds.
On the St. John’s side of things, the Red Storm’s woes might boil down back to the issue that they can play well against teams but still have no way to shift to that second gear to put teams away. They had their moments with the potential to take control of the game but never seized on opportunity in what is an ever growing laundry list of times this has happened to St. John’s.
Bashir Ahmed led the way with 21 points and 7sevenrebounds, proving once again to be quite the well rounded player for the Red Storm. Joining his efforts were the usual surrounding cast that find themselves in the upper ends of the scoring sheet. Shamorie Ponds posted a 15 point game, Marvin Clark II posted 11 points, and rounding out the wider array of options that St. John’s had this game was Justin Simon with 10 points on the day. The Red Storm continue to feel Marcus LoVett’s absence, though.
As a team, St. John’s shot the ball at a rate of 40% from the field, 35% from three point range, and a slightly better 79% rate from the foul line. As mentioned St. John’s was out rebounded this game, but other than that the rest of the stats from this game by both DePaul and St. John’s mirrored each other this game. Both teams had similar bench point amounts at 11 for DePaul and 10 for St. John’s, both had similar turnover rates at 12 for DePaul and 10 for St. John’s. You get the picture, but the only glaring mark for St. John’s was second chance points with St. John’s getting beaten to that mark easily by DePaul with the Blue Demons scoring 20 second chance points to a mere 12 points by the Red Storm.
DePaul now has their first win on the season in conference play, whereas St. John’s is still looking for answers as to how to get there. The basement has just gotten lonelier for the Red Storm.