Tag Archives: Johnnies

St. John’s falls in overtime to Villanova, 79-76


| brennison@queenscourier.com


With the clock winding down in overtime and St. John’s down three to Villanova, the number one option on the potential game-tying play – Moe Harkless – could only stand and watch.

Fans that braved the cold were rewarded with a heated Big East battle that came down to the buzzer with the Johnnies falling to Villanova, 79-76 in overtime.

St. John’s (8-11, 2-6 Big East) last possession broke down and the ensuing scramble led to Sir’Dominic Pointer – who has hit only five of 25 threes this year – taking the final shot that clanged off the front of the rim, leaving the Johnnies with their fourth straight loss and sixth in their last seven games.

“Coach [Dunlap] drew up a good play,” said guard Phil Greene, who finished with a career-high 14 points. “We didn’t come out and execute it right, but we still had an opportunity and a good look to tie the game.”

The Red Storm found themselves in overtime only after losing a double-digit lead with less than seven minutes to play and not getting a shot off on the final possession of regulation.

“The execution of the last play before the buzzer went off and overtime is my responsibility, no one else’s,” said Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap, who has stepped in for Steve Lavin as he continues to recover from October prostate cancer surgery.

With the game tied and less than 10 seconds remaining, God’sgift Achiuwa’s errant pass to Harkless was stolen forcing overtime.

Though the Johnnies failed to convert their last-second opportunities and were out rebounded by 16, Dunlap said the outcome of the game came down to foul shots.

“We left the game on the free throw line.  It’s that simple,” Dunlap said.  “You can talk about the rebounds, you can talk about the turnovers, but the bottom line is free throws are easy baskets.”

St. John’s shot 14-25 from the line, which included five misses in the extra period.

After hitting just four of their 22 three-pointers during regulation, Villanova made both attempts in overtime helping them build a seven-point lead which the Johnnies could not overcome.

The Red Storm jumped out to an early 12-4 lead on the strength of five of six shooting, including two Harrison three-pointers – which matched the team’s total from the previous two games.

The Johnnies followed that hot streak by, as has happened often this season, going cold, hitting just four of their next 22 shots.

In the second half, the Johnnies again came out firing on all cylinders.  This time, St. John’s was able to carry the momentum through the rest of half shooting 68 percent, led by D’Angelo Harrison’s 20 points.

Harrison set a career high in points – 28 – after struggling over his previous two games, hitting just three of 19 shots over those contests.

Villanova (10-10, 3-5) was led by the Big East’s second leading scorer Maalik Wayns who scored 28 – including two game tying shots with under 70 seconds left in regulation.

St. John’s next faces West Virginia (15-5, 5-2) Wednesday night at MSG at 7 p.m.

St. John’s falls to #11 Georgetown at MSG


| brennison@queenscourier.com


After jumping out to an early 13-5 lead, St. John’s struggled to find an offensive groove and fell to the 11th ranked Georgetown Hoyas 69-49.

The Johnnies (8-9, 2-4 Big East) scored just six points over the last 12 minutes of the first half after their quick start allowing the Hoyas a chance to get take a lead they never relinquished.

Both teams struggled from the field in the first half – each squad shot under 35 percent. The Johnnies shooting troubles continued in the second half – the team shot 8-27 after hitting only 9-27 shots in the first half.

Shooting has been an issue all year for St. John’s – they came into the game second to last in the conference in field goal percentage and dead last in 3-point field goal percentage.

The length of the Hoyas did not make the Johnnies shooting struggles any easier. Georgetown played six guys over 6-foot-8-inches tall; many times having four on the court at the same time.

“They were really long,” said Moe Harkless. “I think we didn’t do a great job of attacking their zone.”

Georgetown (14-3, 4-2) discovered their shooting stroke at half time, led by Hollis Thompson who made all seven of his shots in the second half, including five three pointers, after missing all six of his shots over the game’s first 20 minutes.

Twice in the second half the Johnnies were able to climb to within three, but each time saw the Hoyas immediately answer with a sustained run. After St. John’s made it 28-25, Georgetown scored nine straight points to stretch their lead to a dozen. The Red Storm were again within one possession of tying the game with 6:36 remaining in the game before Georgetown closed the game on a 21-4 run.

A majority of the Red Storm offense came from the Queens native Harkless. The freshman had nine of the team’s 17 field goals while scoring 21 points.

The team managed just one field goal over the last 5:15 following Harkless picking up his fifth and final foul.

Reigning Big East Rookie of the Week D’Angelo Harrison suffered through the worst game of his college career scoring only five points on 1-12 shooting and committing several key turnovers on fast breaks.

“I have to do a better job of slowing down and finding the open guy,” Harrison said after the game. “Like coach says find the path that’s open, not the one you want.”

The 19 points the Johnnies scored in the first half was their lowest scoring half of the season. The game also marked the first time St. John’s was held under 50 points. The Red Storm have lost all seven games played this year against ranked opponents after beating six last year.

St. John’s now travels to South Florida (10-8, 3-2) to face the Bulls on Wednesday, January 18.

D’Angelo Harrison named Big East Rookie of the Week


| brennison@queenscourier.com


After averaging more than 20 points and seven rebounds, St. John’s freshman phenom D’Angelo Harrison was named the Big East Rookie of the Week.

The guard led the Red Storm (8-7, 3-2 Big East)  in scoring in both the team’s games last week — a loss at MSG to No. 11/10 Louisville and a win at Cincinnati, snapping the Bearcats seven-game winning streak.  Harrison played in 79 of a possible 80 minutes during last week’s action.

For the week Harrison averaged 21 points, 7.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals.

The Texas native leads all Big East freshmen in scoring — 16 ppg — and is 12th overall in the conference.

Harrison is the first player to earn this honor since Cardozo graduate Daryll Hill in February 2004.

The Johnnies next play at No. 25/24 Marquette (12-4, 1-2) on Wednesday, January 11 at 7 p.m.

Steve Lavin updates his status


| brennison@queenscourier.com


St. John’s Head Coach Steve Lavin updated the status of his return to the sideline during a Big East conference call by announcing there is no update.

The timetable of Lavin’s return to the sideline has not changed and will continue to be dictated by the recuperation process and a full recovery, he said during the January 5 call with members of the media.

Lavin coached four games in November after missing the season opener, but has not returned to the sideline since as he recovers from October surgery to treat his prostate cancer.

While the strain of manning the sidelines during games is still too taxing, Lavin has continued to undertake many of the other jobs that fall on the coach of a major college basketball program.

Attending practices, hitting the recruiting trail and meeting with his staff to prep for games and plan practices, Lavin described his new role as akin to that of a general manager.

“I’m trying to strike a balance at this stage in terms of adding value while I’m away from coaching the games,” the Johnnies coach said.  “I’m trying to burn my fuel or energy more efficiently in ways that I can move the program forward during this period of time.”

The coach credited his time as a broadcaster as helping him watch a game removed from the sideline.

“There is some value, I think also, in the time and distance to watch the game at home or watch the game up top in a box because you see things more clearly, more objectively than when you’re actually in the midst of competition on the sidelines,” Lavin said.  “So I try and bring that perspective to the staff and players at practices and meetings.”

The 7-7 (1-2 Big East) Red Storm will try to climb above .500 Saturday in Cincinnati against the Bearcats at 1 p.m.

St. John’s guard Nurideen Lindsay to transfer


| brennison@queenscourier.com


Sophomore guard Nurideen Lindsay, one of eight new Johnnies, is transferring from the university.

St. John’s (4-5)  announced Thursday that that the Redlands Community College transfer would be leaving the school at the end of the Fall semester.

“This was a mutually agreed-upon decision that Nuri’s pursuit of other opportunities is in the best interest of all parties,” said Head Coach Steve Lavin. “We appreciate Nuri’s contributions to our program. He is a basketball player with a bright future. Our basketball family supports Nuri as he moves in a new direction.”

The Philadelphia native was one of seven players in the Red Storm’s rotation and third on the team in scoring at 11.8 points per game while pacing the squad in assists with almost three per contest.

“I came to St. Johns for a couple of reasons. One was to be close to my mom, whose health has been up and down due to some past experiences. The second was to play for Coach [Lavin]. In both instances it has not worked out how I envisioned. I think Coach Lav is an amazing coach, and person. He could have taught me so much,” said Lindsey. “I love St. John’s and appreciate all the love and support from the staff and school. I think this team will be special. I think what I’ll miss most about St. John’s is miss my teammates. Those guys are like my brothers. So I will continue to support St. John’s and my brothers. Thank you for the memories, regardless of how brief.”

 

Steve Lavin to undergo cancer surgery today


| brennison@queenscourier.com

Photo Courtesy of St. John's University

St. John’s Coach Steve Lavin will undergo surgery today to treat his prostate cancer which was diagnosed last fall.

Lavin, entering his second year on the Johnnies sideline, coached the Red Storm to their most successful season in a decade last year. It was only after the season that the school announced that the 47 year old had been diagnosed with an early stage of the disease during the season.

“The advantage of early detection is that we were afforded the time to research all options,” said Lavin. “After weighing treatment options with the experts at Sloan we have decided surgery is the best path to take for my particular prostate cancer condition.”

Lavin is expected to return to his coaching responsibilities after a short recovery period. The season kicks-off on October 15 with the team’s first practice following a tip-off event the prior night.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering’s chairman of the Department of Surgery, Peter T. Scardino, M.D. will perform the surgery. Scardino said that the coach should make a quick and full recovery. It is also highly likely that this treatment will eradicate the cancer, the doctor said

Lavin has involved himself with organizations promoting cancer research and awareness for the past decade, including Coaches vs. Cancer and The V Foundation for Cancer Research.

As part of the Coaches vs. Cancer Suits and Sneakers weekend, Lavin wore white Nike Air Force Ones during the Johnnies upset of Duke to help raise awareness and support the American Cancer Society. Claiming comfort and not superstition, Lavin continued to sport sneakers during games for the remainder of the season.

The Johnnies enter the season looking to build on their success of a year ago when a senior-laden team reached the NCAA tournament. The year’s team features just one returning player – junior guard Malik Stith – and includes seven freshmen.