Daryll Hill scored 15 points and Lamont Hamilton added 12, but it was not enough to give St. John’s its first road win in two years. Virginia Tech beat the Red Storm, 73-64, at Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Va., on Saturday afternoon.
The Johnnies battled to keep themselves in the game all afternoon. The only time they led was after Hamilton‘s two-handed dunk to open the game.
St. John’s was down just 31-29 at halftime. It then saw the gap swell to 39-29 after the Hokies, formerly of the Big East but now an ACC team, started the second half on an 8-0 run.
Virginia Tech (7-3), which lost to No. 1 Duke, 77-75, this season, was led by 21 points from Coleman Collins and 18 from Zabian Dowdell. Markus Sailes added 11 points and Deron Washington had 10 for the Hokies.
St. John’s (5-2) rallied to within 48-46 when freshman Ricky Torres stole the ball from Dowdell and went in for a layup with 10:15 left in the game. Collins answered with dunks on the next two possessions. He had six slams in the game. The Red Storm never recovered and never got closer.
Hill returned from his one-game suspension, shooting 7-of-14 from the field. Sophomore Eugene Lawrence added 11 points and Dexter Gray had eight for St. John’s
It was Lawrence that led the Red Storm’s first-half surge after the Hokies took a 20-7 lead midway through. The Johnnies followed with a 12-3 run. Lawrence connected on six free throws and a runner in the lane. Hill added a layup to pull St. John’s to within 25-21.
The Red Storm’s next game will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 17 against Marist at Madison Square Garden.