St. John’s blown out by Providence in quarterfinals of Big East tournament.

Wilson Sy, Staff Writer

St. John’s blown out by Providence in quarter-finals of Big East tournament.

For the fourth consecutive year, the St. John’s Basketball team is one-and-done in the Big East Tournament. The senior class finished their conference tournament careers winless. Due to the lack of energy and a season-low shooting just 31%, No.5 St. John’s falls to No.4 Providence for the second straight year in the Big-East quarterfinals 74-57.

Rysheed Jordan was the only player in double-figures scoring 18-points along with a career high 16 free-throw attempts. The Red Storm seniors struggled in perhaps their last game at Madison Square Garden, shooting a combine (9-of-39) 23% of the field.

The Red Storm was dominated by the Friars in many statistical categories. Providence finished with 36 points in the paint only to St. John’s 16, 17-7 a second chance points and 15-4 on the fast break points. St. John’s also was out-rebounded 49-36.

“Our aggressiveness is not at the level’s it’s been. Our best indication is rebounding; Providence was plus 13 in the glass. They beat us to the punch and really established the tone early. For the most part we were never really in contention and weren’t able to convert. As a group we are disappointed with our results today and we have to get ready for our next game. “

St. John’s had no answers for Providence as LaDontae Henton led the Friars with 20 points and 12 rebounds. Co-Big East Player of the Year Kris Dunn finished with 17 points and 11 dimes. Two other players, Ben Bentil (14 points) and Tyler Harris (15 points) reached double-figures of well.

After getting off to a quick 7-0 start from a D’Angelo Harrison three-pointer, Providence responded with an 18-0 run led by Kris Dunn who scored the Friars first 7 of their nine points. The Red Storm also went 10:08 without a field-goal and trailed 28-11 with seven minutes left. During the drought, St. John’s missed 15consective shots and looked completely out of rhythm with little ball movement, taking too many poor percentage jumpers and scoring zero points in transition in the first 20 minutes.

Trailing 40-27 at the half, the Johnnies got as close as (42-34) eight points with 17:28 remaining. After a Rysheed Jordan three-pointer to cut the deficit to 11, Providence scored 10 unanswered and had their biggest lead of the game (61-40) with 8:04 left to put the game out of reach.

During the postgame, when asked about the loss, Lavin explained, “I don’t think it’s them (the players), I’m just a poor conference tournament coach”.

Lavin has been 2-7 in tournament games in his five-year tenure with the Red Storm and only 1-5 in conference tournament games at the Garden.

Over the last two games St. John’s has lost a combine total 54 points in back-to-back games, the largest marginal deficit in the Steve Lavin era.

St. John’s falls to 21-11 overall and will have the most important game of their lives ahead in the upcoming postseason.

The Johnnies will look to secure a spot in the NCAA tournament come Selection Sunday on Mar.15.