St. John’s storms past Cuse’ in Carrier Dome

For the first time since 1999, St. John’s beat Syracuse 69-57 at the Carrier Dome. Phil Greene was the savior for the Johnnies as he scored 13 points in the final four minutes including 11 straight points at one point.

D’Angelo Harrison led the Red Storm in scoring as he had 24 points and Sir’Dominic Pointer added 9 points and grabbed 8 boards. Chris Obekpa was a game changer in the paint as he had 16 rebounds and 4 blocks.

Rysheed Jordan came off the bench for the second straight game and contributed 11 points and 6 rebounds while only turning the ball over four total times.

At the end of the first half, the Johnnies were supporting a four point lead as they went on a 10-3 run with D’Angelo Harrison knocking down two NBA three pointers.

The most important point in the game was mid-second half when Syracuse went on a 9-1 run due to stifling defense and fast break offense. The crowd started to get more involved in the game but the Johnnies senior leadership and experience was able to counter the run down the stretch.

With four minutes left in the game, Chris McCullough turned the ball over and that led to a game tying three pointer from Phil Greene.

The senior guard from Chicago then went on to knock down two more threes and an impressive layup on a fast break to put the game out of reach.

The key to the game for the Johnnies was their ability to limit turnovers against Syracuse’s zone defense. They only had 10 turnovers while their own zone defense forced the Cuse to turn the ball over 12 times.

The Orange were stone cold from three point range, shooting 3-for-22 from the field and they only out-rebounded a smaller St. John’s front court by two total boards.

The Johnnies shot 56 percent from beyond the three-point arc and they improved at the free throw line, shooting 80 percent for the game.

Experience cannot be overstated at this point in the season. This was the Red Storm’s first true road game and it was a huge test. The losses over the years have helped this team tremendously because now they know how to counter the momentum in these close games, physical games in tough environments.

Syracuse was supporting a 55 game home winning streak in the non-conference coming into this game. The last time they lost at home in the non-conference was in 2008 to Cleveland State.

St. John’s also had a seven game losing streak versus the Orange and that include a close loss at Madison Square Garden last December.

This was a huge resume-building win for St. John’s as they make their case to be one of the best teams in the Big East. Wins over Minnesota and Syracuse will go a long way towards if they will be playing in mid-March.

Next up for the Johnnies is Fairleigh Dickinson, Wednesday, at Carnesecca Arena at 8 pm.