The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Harrison Shakes Off Pesky Pirates

With 2:45 left in the game, and St. John’s clinging to a 61-59 lead, Seton Hall leading scorer Fuquan Edwin lined up a wide-open three-pointer from just in front of his team’s bench to complete a 16-point comeback.

The shot bounced off the rim, however, and 20 seconds later, St. John’s star guard D’Angelo Harrison did what Edwin could not, burying a jumper to push the lead back to four and give the Red Storm the breathing space they needed to hold off the Pirates in their 71-67 win on Sunday.

Harrison, the Big East’s second-leading scorer, finished with 24 points — including 10 in the last four minutes — as the Johnnies (13-7, 5-3) moved into a tie with No. 13 Louisville for third place in the Big East.

“That’s just our captain stepping up,” freshman forward JaKarr Sampson said of Harrison’s late-game heroics. “The leader of our team, stepping up, doing what he does best — scoring the ball. We’re blessed to have him in that situation.”

There would have been no need for Harrison to step up, however, had St. John’s managed to avoid what’s proven to be its Achilles heel this season — blowing big leads.

The Johnnies appeared to be in cruise control after weathering an early hot-shooting run from Seton Hall (13-7, 2-5). The Pirates took a 29-21 lead after 10 minutes helped in part by a 12-of-17 start from the field and the inside play of center Eugene Teague (22 points, 9-of-14 shooting).

St. John’s responded to that with perhaps their best stretch of the season, outscoring the Pirates 30-6 over a 13-minute stretch to open up a 51-35 lead.

But just as they did against Notre Dame, DePaul and Rutgers, St. John’s let Seton Hall back into the game. The team missed 8 out of 9 shots at one point as the Pirates chipped away, closing the gap to as little as one with 4:22 left, and wore at the young Johnnies’ psyche.

“Our kids looked despondent,” Lavin said. “It was though we had just lost the game, or we were down 25, or down
26 to Georgetown.”

They weren’t down 25 or playing Georgetown, and just as they did against Notre Dame, Rutgers and DePaul, they pulled it out in the end.

“When Seton Hall went on a run and cut it to one, we went on a run of our own,” Lavin said. “That trend is emerging — finding a way to get the stops, make free throws and salt a victory away.”

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About the Contributor
Michael E. Cunniff
Michael E. Cunniff, Editor-in-Chief
I'm Mike Cunniff, a junior journalism major and the sports editor here at the Torch. When I was a little kid, I decided I wanted to be a sports announcer when I grew up. I used to turn down the volume while my beloved Patriots played and do my best Greg Gumbel impression as Drew Bledsoe fired pass after pass into the waiting arms of opposing cornerbacks. That was my dream until I was about 14, when I realized that I had neither the dapper looks or silky baritone voice to warrant plastering my face all over television (and billboards, and magazine covers. Dare to dream, right?). I realized, when I wasn't plagiarizing Sparknotes when writing English essays (kidding, mostly) that I actually enjoyed writing, and decided that writing about sports suited me better than talking about them. My favorite sports to watch/cover are basketball and soccer. I actually used to be a halfway decent shooting guard back in the day, before I did my knee in the offseason before senior year. I still love all four Boston teams (the Revs don't count), as well as Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League (I talk about them too much). I'm probably better than you at FIFA 12. Outside of sports and journalism, I like The Office, Bagels 'N' Cream, road trips and karaoke. __________ I like to joke with Mike that he’d react the same way to the Zombie apocalypse as he would in covering a major news break on campus — which is to say he wouldn’t really react in any particular way at all. Nothing seems to phase him. Anything — ANYTHING — could happen on campus, and I am confident that Mike would lead the Torch in the best possible reportage for that story. He has already demonstrated that ability in his superb coverage of the Sports section, and I know that ability would translate in a much larger role next year. -Bill San Antonio Editor-in-Chief, Emeritus
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