St. John’s (6-3) went into their west coast tilt with San Francisco (5-1) with both teams looking to extend their winning streaks to five.
The Dons are the former team of Coach Lavin’s father, Albert “Cap” Lavin, who played for the team in the 1950’s. The star of San Francisco these days however is De’End Parker, who is scoring at a torrent pace of 19.5 points per game.
Parker got things started on the first possession the Dons had, draining a three pointer as the shot clock expired. Both teams exchanged buckets quickly, with USF taking a 8-6 lead after the first three minutes.
Things slowed down a bit after Lavin got called for a technical, after arguing a no-call on D’Angelo Harrison. The Dons missed both of the free throws.
Within the games first nine minutes, there were eleven lead changes. The Dons responded to a Harrison three with one of their own, and took the lead at 17-16.
USF finally spread out the games scoring after that three, going on a 10-2 run which was highlighted by an ally-oop pass to Mark Tollefsen.
With three minutes to go in the half, the Dons hit their sixth three pointer of the game to give them a 36-27 lead. USF shot 54.5% from behind the arc in the half.
Phil Greene did his best to keep the Johnnies in the game, knocking down a big shot from deep to close in on the USF lead. Soon after Harrison would score five un-asnerwed points, and the Storm trailed 36-35.
The second half started with yet another shot hit from downtown from the Dons, which would be the start of a 9-0 run for USF. JaKarr Sampson finally ended the streak, and the Johnnies trailed 47-37.
It wasn’t until there were fourteen minutes to go that St. John’s would get the USF lead under ten. Sir’Dom Pointer hit two free throws to knock the Dons advantage down to 54-45.
Sampson would cut the lead down to just five after hitting back to back baskets, part of a 12-2 run for the Storm. He would finish with a career high 22 points.
The Storm kept things close, but a Sampson foul on Parker from behind the arc would put the Dons on the line for three free throws. Parker hit each shot, and the Dons lead 64-56 with six to go.
Things would get a bit chippy as the clock ran down, Pointer got into it a minor altercation with one of the USF players. He would then foul out of the game with four minutes left.
San Francisco would go on to win the game by a final of 81-65. Cody Doolin had 18 points and 14 assist for the Dons. St. John’s as a team had just 6 assist.
St. John’s will look to rebound from their loss this Saturday night, as they host the Fordham Rams in their first game of the year at Madison Square Garden.