Anthony Mason, Jr. is doing everything he can, but lately it just has not been enough.
Despite putting up 29 points against Louisville Saturday, tying a career high he set just one game earlier against Pittsburgh, St. John’s was unable to overcome the Cardinals, falling by a score of 67-57 at Freedom Hall.
“I think [Mason] is doing a good job being a leader,” said St. John’s head coach Norm Roberts. “But we have to get [out of this slump] as a team.”
Aside from Mason, who was one rebound away from a double-double, no other St. John’s player was in double-digits in any category.
“We see [Mason] leadership and he’s pushing [to win],” said Paris Horne. “We’re just trying to follow behind him and stick together.”
Louisville was in complete control throughout the entire contest, never allowing St. John’s to take the lead. St. John’s got back into the game with over 13 minutes remaining as it pulled to within seven points, but Louisville responded convincingly, going on a 16-1 run to effectively put the game out of reach.
“We made plays when we needed to and got ourselves back into the game,” Roberts said, “but they made a run on us.”
With the outburst in scoring Louisville extended its lead to 21 points with a little under nine minutes to go, ensuring the Cardinals fifth win in its last six games.
Louisville’s Derrick Caracter made the most of his minutes, posting 17 points and four rebounds in only 18 minutes of time on the floor.
“[Caracter] is very big and strong,” Roberts said. “We had some ill-advisded turnovers but Louisville forces teams into that.”
Jerry Smith and Andre McGee were also in double-digit scoring for Louisville with 15 and 10 points, respectively.
Malik Boothe, who has seen increased minutes with starting point guard Eugene Lawrence playing through an injury, posted three assists and one turnover in 14 minutes of playing time.
“I’ve got a ton of confidence in Malik,” Roberts said. “He’s been a very good player for us this year.”
With the loss St. John’s losing streak extended to five games, and it will have its work cut out for it today when it takes on No. 6 Georgetown at Madison Square Garden.
“We have to stick together and work our way out [of the losing streak],” Horne said. “[We] have to win our home games.
“Nobody likes to lose. It makes us hungry to win the next one, and we need to come out and play.”