Friars calm the Red Storm, 62-59
Sunday, March 03, 2013
When you can play well and win, that's one thing. But when you can play poorly and still win - now you've got something.
Credit a St. John's team playing without its leading scorer in D'Angelo Harrison for playing tough-as-nails Saturday night at the Dunkin Donuts Center. But you can also credit a Friar team for its resiliency in a 62-59 win over the Red Storm, as Providence won for the sixth time in a seven game stretch.
St. John's came out with guns blazing early, shooting 53% in the first 10 minutes of the game and never trailed in the opening 20 minutes. The Red Storm cooled off slightly when Bryce Cotton (24 points) hit a three-pointer with four minutes left to cut the SJU lead to one (25-24), and the one-point margin is where the game stayed at the half...with PC trailing 27-26.
Providence opened up the second half by taking the lead on a fast-break layup from Kadeem Batts (15 points, nine rebounds), and the Friars were able to maintain the lead until the eight minute mark when St. John's sophomore Sir'Dominic Pointer hit the team's only three-point basket to put them ahead, 47-44.
A 7-0 PC run was fueled by a Cotton three and some stout defense, as St. John's missed their last nine shots from the floor over the final 4:21. Still, with shaky free-throw shooting throughout and the Friars unable to put the game away, the Red Storm had a chance to tie the game in the final seconds when freshman forward JaKarr Sampson missed a three from the right wing.
St. John's (16-12, 8-8 Big East) was led by Sampson, who finished with a careeer-high tying 22 points. Pointer finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds. In addition to Cotton and Batts, the Friars (16-12, 8-8 Big East) also got 10 points and five assists from Vincent Council, and a career high 12 rebounds from freshman Kris Dunn, with five points and five assists.
It might not be a game too many will remember, except for one simple - and important - fact. The Friars won, and in the end, that's what counts.
The game featured six ties and 11 lead changes...while SJU missed its last nine shots from the floor, the Friars connected on six of their last 10 shots to help with the win...PC managed a paltry 11-21 from the free throw line (52%), but St. John's wasn't much better (8-14, 57%)...Providence outrebounded the Red Storm 47-38, and committed just three second half turnovers (13 total)...Providence, SJU and Cincinnati are all tied at 8-8 in the conference standings with two games remaining in the regular season, but with wins over both the Red Storm and Bearcats, PC would hold any tiebreaker advantage for seeding purposes in the Big East Tournament...Harrison, 3rd in the Big East in scoring at 17.8 points per game, was suspended from the team for the remainder of the season by head coach Steve Lavin on Friday...the game was the 100th career match between the two long-time rivals, with SJU holding a 57-43 advantage overall. Providence has won 13 of the last 17 meetings since 2001...the Friars will wrap up the regular season home schedule with a 9:00 pm tip-off Tuesday night against Seton Hall (8:45 pre-game on 103.7 FM)...