For the second time in a span of three days the St. John’s Red Storm and the Seton Hall Pirates hit the floor once again this time to conclude their regular season series against each other as well as this little miniseries as a result of the rescheduling.
On Saturday, Seton Hall won the first leg at Madison Square Garden by a score of 66 to 60, and Monday night St. John’s returned the favor on the Pirates home court with a 84 to 63 over Seton Hall to split the regular season series. The win was also St. John’s first road win in Big East play this season as they move to 3-4 in conference play and the Pirates sink to 3-5 in the Big East standings.
The game for St. John’s was one of their better showings in Big East play so far with a play that flew out of the traps from the get go setting the course for the game. It was an overall complete game, one that should the many facets and talents that this team can have at any given moment. This game was also the answer to whether or not Aaron Wheeler should be a starter and the answer to that is a pretty emphatic yes. Wheeler posted a double-double of 17 points on 6-12 shooting and 10 rebounds continuing his stretch of solid play over the last few games. He started the game tonight instead of Posh Alexander and the change did not alter the play of the Johnnies but rather gave it a more even flow on the court. Alexander himself was impressive in his own right with a game leading 19 points on 7-12 shooting and garnering seven rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Rounding out the scoring was Montez Mathis who had a 10 point game on 3-8 shooting.
Oddly enough, it was also Julian Champagnie’s worst game of the season so far shooting 2-10 for only five points. Though it is also a great sign that the Red Storm can have a solid game when their leading scorer is completely off for the night. It is a clear sign that Mike Anderson’s use of depth and rotation paid off greatly in this game.
On the Seton Hall side of things, it was pretty evident that the absence of Bryce Aiken was felt by the Pirates, as Seton Hall looked off for much of the game. It also seems that though they won over the weekend, Monday night’s game was a return to the ongoing slump that has hit Seton Hall in recent weeks. If Seton Hall does not fix their recent slide then that might hit their tournament chances though there is still a lot of basketball left to play.
Even with the absence of Aiken, there were some solid performances by the Pirates led by Jared Rhoden who had a double-double of 12 points on 4-17 shooting and 12 rebounds. Rhoden’s rebound mark was the game leading mark as well. Myles Cale was the leading scorer for the Pirates with 16 points on 5-10 shooting. Rounding out the scoring was a 12 point game by Jamir Harris and an 11 point game by Tray Jackson.
As a team the Pirates shot the ball at a rate of 30.6% from the floor, 38.1% from beyond the arc, and a rather dismal 65.4% from the foul line. They were outrebounded by St. John’s with only 43 boards to the Red Storm’s 49, and committed 20 turnovers over the span of the game.
On the St. John’s side of things, the Red Storm shot the ball at a rate of 43.8% from the floor, 41.7% from beyond the arc, and a much improved 76.9% from the foul line.
With this game in the books the attention for Seton Hall turns to Wednesday night as the Pirates play host to the now-ranked Marquette Golden Eagles to complete their regular season series. As for St. John’s their attention shifts to this weekend a road trip down to Philadelphia to take on Villanova in what should be a fun an interesting game.