The St. John’s Red Storm (15-9, 7-5) would look to continue another winning streak as they headed up to the Carrier Dome to play the 9 Syracuse Orange (20-3, 8-2.)
Coach Steve Lavin was not with the team after the passing of his father, Albert “Cap” Lavin. St. John’s would be coached by assistant Rico Hines.
Both teams were turnover prone early in the game, but it was the Storm who would pay for the loose ball problems. As a result, the Orange were able to hit two three pointers that would give them a quick 8-4 lead.
Following their productive day from three against UConn, St. John’s faltered early from behind the arc going 0-4. After a JaKarr Sampson turnover, Cuse went up 16-8 after 7 minutes of play.
Neither team got on the board in the next couple of minutes until D’Angelo Harrison hit two free throws. The Orange would not allow the Storm to get on a run however, hitting a three on their next possession.
The turnovers would continue to pile up for St. John’s, allowing Syracuse to go on a 7-0 run. With 9 left in the first they led 23-10, helped out by six Storm turnovers. Michael Carter-Williams would force three of those turnovers, grabbing three steals in first portion of the half.
Phil Greene would finally hit a three for the Storm, helping to get St. John’s within ten points. Syracuse would go on another big run to take a 32-19 lead in the last 5 minutes of the first.
St. John’s was able to settle down a bit defensively, and after a surprise three point play by Chris Obekpa, they would cut the deficit to ten once again. Cuse would then knock down a late three, and at the half they led 37-24.
The Storm came out of halftime strong going on a 5-0 run in the first minute. Two Harrison three pointers and one from Marc-Antoine Bourgault would make it a nine point game 6 minutes in at 48-39.
Obekpa would slam home a dunk on the next St. John’s possession and then Sampson scored a bucket to get the Storm within just five points of the Orange. With 12 to play on the night, Cuse was up just 48-43.
That would be as close as St. John’s would get however, and thanks to 45% shooting from beyond the arc, Syracuse pulled away to win it by a final of 77-58.
Sampson led the game with 21 points while also pulling down 6 rebounds. Carter-Williams would finish his day with 6 steals, 17 points, and 8 assist.
The Red Storm will look to bounce back from their loss as they go down to face the 11 Louisville Cardinals February 14.