|St. John’s||LoVett: 26||Ellison: 6||Ponds: 3|
|Providence||Bullock: 20||Bullock: 8||Cartwright: 5|
- At the under-12 media timeout of the first half the score was 14-11 in favor of St. John’s and the Red Storm had attempted 16 shots against just 7 for Providence. Of the 7 made field goals by St. John’s, 3 were from beyond the arc. 3-point defense was something that Ed Cooley called out as a key to stopping the Red Storm. The other stories of the first 20 minutes were Providence’s struggles at the free throw line and with turnovers. The free throws were painful enough that when the Friars did make one the crowd gave them a sarcastic cheer. They finished 6/12 at the charity stripe. 10 turnovers was also a cringeworthy stat.
- Jalen Lindsey picked up his second foul at the 16:58 mark of the first half and Emmitt Holt, who didn’t start to avoid early foul trouble, picked up his second foul at the 12:45 mark of the first half. Lindsey would return to play a total of 6 first half minutes while Holt managed 8. Lindsey scored 3 first half points and Holt had 4.
- Maliek White gave Ed Cooley some good minutes off the bench in the first half and seemed to be looking to match fellow freshman Shamorie Ponds, shot-for-shot. White finished the first half with 6 points on 2/3 from the field in 10 minutes of action.
Providence shot 61% from the field in the first half against St. John’s 50% shooting. Where St. John’s had a major advantage was from behind the 3-point line. The Red Storm shot 8/16 from downtown.
- Marcus LoVett could not be stopped in the first half and led all scorers at the break with 16 points on 6/9 shooting. He was the only St. John’s player in double figures in the first half but Shamorie Ponds and Malik Ellison also chipped in 9 points a piece. The Red Storm led, 46-37, at the half.
- The second half opened with Providence showing more intensity after what was surely a boisterous discussion by Ed Cooley at halftime. The Friars slowly clawed back into the game and then used a 6-0 run ahead of the under-16 media timeout to tie the game at 51 on 6/6 from the floor, including 1/1 from downtown. The Red Storm turned it over 6 times in the first 4 minutes of the second stanza. The teams traded baskets and were tied at 68 at the under-8 media timeout. Neither team seemed to want to get a defensive stop and the game seesawed back and forth all the way down the stretch. Providence led, 83-81, with 3:14 to go at the under-4 media timeout but Bashir Ahmed tied it at 83 out the break. Rodney Bullock made 1/2 free throws with 2:01 to go to pull Providence ahead by 1 and after the Red Storm made a basket on the othe end to go up, 85-84, Ahmed committed a silly foul against Diallo 60 feet from the Providence basket and fouled out of the game with 1:28 remaining. Diallo converted on both free throws and then Ponds answered with a pair of free throws of his own to continue to volley of lead changes with 1:13. St. John’s dominated the rest of the action as the Friars struggled to stop LoVett and Ponds.
- Bullock led the way for Providence with 20 points on 8/13 shooting. He also grabbed 8 rebounds in 39 minutes.
- Diallo had his best overall game at Providence and finished with 18 points and 8 rebounds. He made 5/6 from the field and 8/8 from the free throw line in 35 minutes. He also played excellent defense, especially in the second half.
- Cartwright scored 16 points on 6/10 shooting with 5 assists and 6 turnovers, including when the ball was dislodged during Providence’s final possession on what certainly appeared to be a lot of contact by the Red Storm defender.
- Lindsey made some key 3-pointers and finished with 13 points on 5/8 shooting, including 3/6 from beyond the arc.
- Holt was again in foul trouble a large portion of the night and finished with 8 points and 3 rebounds in 22 minutes of action.
- St. John’s was led by LoVett who finished with 26 points on 10/15 shooting. Ponds scored 22 points, Ellison and Ahmed each chipped in 15 points each and the Red Storm shot 52.5% from the field, including 47.6% from beyond the arc.
- Providence shot 62% from the field and 40% from 3-point range but they were just 18/27 from the free throw line and gave up 10 St. John’s 3-pointers. They also turned the ball over 19 times and gave up 10 offensive rebounds.
- This was one of the more exciting games to watch of the Big East season, though I’m not sure either coach was thrilled with the lack of defense played. St. John’s finished the game on a 6-0 run over the final 1:13. There were 13 ties and 15 lead changes.
- The Friars next travel to Milwaukee to play Marquette at the Bradley Center. The game tips Saturday, January 28th at 2:00pm EST. The game will be televised on FSN. Stay tuned for details on the regional networks that will be playing the game.
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