St. John’s went into their Saturday night matchup with Marquette reeling; having lost their last four games, and five of their last six. The Golden Eagles would give them no relief however; as they made quick work of the Red Storm, winning 73-59.
It started off well enough for the Red Storm, who were able to keep the contest close for much of the first half. Lackluster shooting from both teams kept the scoring to a minimum during the early onset of the period. But with the score tied at 24 with 3 minutes to go in the period, Marquette went on an 8-0 run to go into half up 32-24.
The Golden Eagles picked up where they left off in the first period, starting off the second half by padding their lead some more. St. John’s could not find an answer for the tough play of the Golden Eagles; who played up to their #10 ranking during the run that gave them the lead for good. Marquette went up by as much as 19, taking advantage of Red Storm turnovers and turning them into points. St. John’s looked like they might be able to go on a run that would draw them closer, but Marquette did a good job of keeping the Red Storm at bay, winning 73-59.
Coach Norm Roberts went with a somewhat different starting lineup against Marquette, sending Rob Thomas, DJ Kennedy, Sean Evans, Paris Horne, and Malik Boothe out to face the Golden Eagles. Curiously missing from the starting lineup was Justin Burrell, who came off the bench against Marquette.
Paris Horne was the only St. John’s player to score in double digits, scoring 23 points on 8-15 shooting. Horne was electric from deep, going 6-10 from beyond the three point line. The sophomore also contributed with 7 rebounds and 6 assists.
DJ Kennedy put up solid numbers against Marquette, scoring 9 points and grabbing 11 rebounds. Kennedy shot 3-13 from the field and 2-4 from three point range on the game. In addition to leading the team in rebounding, Kennedy also led the Red Storm in assists, tallying 7 against the Golden Eagles.
Rob Thomas saw himself in the starting lineup for the first time this season against Marquette. Thomas ended up with 6 points on 3-4 shooting from the floor. While Thomas only played 17 minutes in the contest, he made his presence felt down low, on both the offensive and defensive end of the court.
Sean Evans got into foul trouble, and saw his role limited against Marquette. Evans saw 16 minutes of playing time on Saturday, and finished with 3 points on 1-2 shooting from the floor. The Philadelphia native struggled mightily against the Golden Eagles, turning the ball over 5 times in the loss. Marquette was able to counteract Evans’ size and athleticism; making him mostly ineffective.
Malik Boothe also struggled against Marquette, turning the ball over 8 times in the loss. Boothe, who played all forty minutes of the contest, scored 6 points on 2-5 shooting. The Queens native had a hard time against Marquette guards Jerel McNeal and Dominic James; who both played stifling defense against St. John’s.
Because of Sean Evans’ foul trouble, Dele Coker saw his role grow against Marquette. Coker had his best game of the year, scoring 8 points on 4-5 shooting from the field. Coker, who played 19 minutes in the loss; also contributed by scooping up 4 rebounds.
As always, the JohnnyJungle.com provides you both pre and post game analysis. In the Breakdown I like to see if the team was reading the pre-game column, Calm Before the Storm. Here I will give the Johnnies a school grade for each key to victory to see if they paid attention in class.
The Basics: Shoot Better, Stop Them From Shooting- St. John’s kept it close for much of the first half, due mostly to the fact that Marquette could not find their rhythm shooting the ball. But once Marquette got their shot established, it was over. The Golden Eagles shot a solid 50% for the game, including 20% from three-point range. Lazar Hayward and Jerel McNeal combined for 38 points on 14-30 shooting, enough to sink the Red Storm. St. John’s did not have a terrible offensive day themselves, shooting 45% on the day. But there propensity to turn the ball over hurt them emmensly, especially during the runs that Marquette made.
Less Helter, Less Skelter- St. John’s turned the ball over a season-high 24 times against Marquette, which basically handed the game to the Golden Eagles. The Red Storm were the victims of the Marquette guards swarming defense, which stopped St. John’s in their tracks. Marquette took advantage of these mistakes by turning them into points, scoring 24 points off turnovers in the contest.
Fast in the Right Spurts- Marquette’s athleticism was really on display Saturday night. The Golden Eagles are a squad that thrives on the other team’s confusion, and they had the Red Storm scratching their heads by the end of the game. St. John’s played their type of game early in the contest, settling for a slower-paced affair with less scoring. But, with time Marquette was able to dictate the tempo; and it killed the Red Storm. Marquette put St. John’s on the run and never looked back.
Offensive Rebounding- St. John’s is one of the worst shooting teams in the league, so in order for them to be successful; they need to convert second chance opportunities. One thing St. John’s has had some degree of success at is getting offensive rebounds when they need them. But against Marquette, the Red Storm were unable to establish dominance down low, as they could not scoop up enough offensive boards for it to have an effect on the game. The Golden Eagles were able to keep the St. John’s big men from putting the ball back up after a missed shot, and St. John’s was kept to one shot and done on almost all their possessions.
Get Burrell and Horne Clicking… Marquette certainly saw plenty of Paris Horne, who was the St. John’s offense; scoring 23 points in the loss. As for Justin Burrell, it is any one’s guess. Burrell was strangely missing from the starting lineup, and he was held to 4 points. St. John’s would have loved to run their offense, but Marquette put the pressure on and forced the Red Storm to turn the ball over before they could get anything going.
Final GPA: 1.28
Dan Bart is a sophomore at St. John’s and has long family ties to the University. He and site founder, Dave Krupinski, both attended Christian Brother Academy in Lincroft, NJ. Dan is a diehard Jets fan and is currently enjoying life living off campus. Dan is a 2nd year staff writer for JohnnyJungle.com. You can email Dan with you comments, questions, and for his female fans his phone number. danbart@JohnnyJungle.com