St. John’s men’s basketball played host to DePaul on Saturday Jan. 12 at Carnesecca Arena and ultimately dropped its third BIG EAST game of the season, 60-54. Led by the strong effort of freshmen forward Justin Burrell, who finished with a game high 18 points and 11 rebounds, the Red Storm (7-8, 1-3 BIG EAST) could not hold on to the lead slacking on its defensive skills and offensive execution in the second half. “Give DePaul a lot of credit, they are a well coached team,” said St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts. “They made some plays down in the last seven or eight minutes– we were sloppy with the ball and they took advantage of it.”
St. John’s concluded a 7-0 run to lead DePaul 41-35 at the 9:21 mark of the second period. However, the Red Storm then gave up a 16-0 run to the Blue Demons (7-8, 3-1) that ended with a 10-point deficit for St. John’s, 51-41, with 4:43 left to the game. DePaul’s Dar Tucker and Wesley Green used the run to display active performances including back-to-back threes, to put the game away. The Johnnies were able to bring the score within four with 10 seconds remaining in the game after freshmen guard Malik Boothe was fouled while he drained a three pointer and completed the four-point play. But, St. John’s could never get over the hump to recapture the lead. The Blue Demons were led by three players in double digits. Tucker had a team-high 16 points, while Draelon Burns and Mac Koshwal each contributed 10 points a piece. Green chipped in with nine points but aided in getting DePaul possessions by grabbing 12 boards. “Losing a home game in this league is kind of bad but we just got to regroup,” said Anthony Mason, Jr., who finished with 11 points and eight boards. DePaul offensively dominated the paint 26-18, while St. John’s out-rebounded the Blue Demons 39-31, being more active off the offensive glass (16-3). The Johnnies shot 33.9 percent (21-of-62) from the field while the Blue Demons were more accurate with its shooting and was careful not to take ill-advised shots, finishing 48.9 percent (23-of-47). The Johnnies led the Blue Demons at halftime, 24-21. The Red Storm was able to hold on to the lead for the last 10:51 of the first half. St. John’s will be back in action on Jan. 17 as they travel to Morgantown when the Mountaineers of West Virginia University play host to the Johnnies at the WVU Coliseum.