After a loss that made them look like a Division-II team against Maryland, St. John’s bounced back against No. 19 Texas. But still lost.
In a crushing 77-76 defeat at Madison Square Garden, the Red Storm (2-2, 0-0 Big East) dropped the final game at Coaches vs. Cancer. It came down to the final second. Down by only one, Anthony Mason, Jr. was open for a long three-pointer that just bounced off the rim. Lamont Hamilton tried to tip it back in but time had already expired.
“I think we really battled,” said coach Norm Roberts. “Much better then the night before.”
After taking the first half 45-44, St. John’s fell behind in the second half. But, Ricky Torres, who scored nine points in only nine minutes, hit a three at 10:34 to tie it back up at 60.
After Mason hit a layup, Torres sunk another three at 8:17 to give the Storm the lead 65-62.
Avery Patterson also chimed in with one at 7:10 to give the Storm a commanding 69-64 lead but the Longhorns soon rushed back into the game. Catching back up at 71, Damion James hit a fadeaway to give Texas a 73-71 advantage.
With only thirty seconds left and the Storm down by four, captain Eugene Lawrence scored on a layup and was fouled. With the crowd roaring, Lawrence hit his foul shot and brought the Storm within one.
After forcing a foul, Texas could not get the shot in, giving St. John’s one last chance at victory. But, it proved not to be as Mason’s three was off.
Though it was a loss, Roberts was pleased with the way his team played.
“Knowing we played hard, I can sleep better,” he said.
After their embarrassment the previous night, Patterson just wanted to regain some respect.
“Tonight I just wanted to prove we are a good team,” he said.
They proved they could stand up against a ranked team but the goal, Daryll Hill says, is never just that. He said: “I feel good about playing hard but I wanted that win.”
Maryland 92, St. John’s 60In an embarrassing defeat on Nov. 16, St. John’s was pushed around by Ekene Ibekwe (22 points, 14 rebounds) and Darryl Strawberry’s son, D.J. Strawberry (19 points). Maryland, at one point, held a 40-point lead before bringing in the substitutes.
Torres scored 11 points in 13 minutes and Mason scored 12 points in 26 minutes but there not much else offense from the Johnnies. Defense was also severely lacking.
“We just didn’t come out ready,” said Lawrence.