The key to the St. John’s win over Providence was their biggest weakness: an inside presence.
The St. John’s men’s basketball squad came off a huge road win over Providence on Wednesday.
What’s even more stunning about this win was how they did it.
Throughout most of this season, the Red Storm won their games mainly because of excellent perimeter play. They have been one of the best three point shooting teams and when they shoot well, it’s hard to beat them.
On the contrary, the same can’t be said about their inside presence. St. John’s is one of the worst low post teams. They have little depth in their frontline and it’s showing with their lack of inside scoring and rebounding.
However, on Wednesday, it was a pretty different story. St. John’s still shot well from the perimeter, knocking down 10-of-21 from downtown.
But St. John’s also played a nice inside game as well.
First of all, the Johnnies did a good job rebounding. After being out-rebounded by 56 in their last four games, St. John’s actually out-rebounded Providence 29-26.
Secondly, the Red Storm attacked the basket a lot especially at the start of the second half after Providence went on a 14-2 run to take a 59-53 lead. St. John’s drove to the lane and it resulted in layups, dunks and free throws. That got St. John’s to hang in there to the end.
Thirdly, St. John’s made huge defensive stops down low to seal the win. After they took a 87-86 lead late in the game, Providence attempted to attack the basket a few times but Darien Williams and Tariq Owens did a good job contesting those. Marcus LoVett made a huge block, forcing a shot clock second violation.
The inside game was definitely the biggest factor in St. John’s win on Wednesday. It was encouraging considering how much St. John’s has struggled inside.
They still need more big man and head coach Chris Mullin is trying to recruit more of them in the near future.
With their lack of size and depth, St. John’s will figure to keep struggling inside against bigger opponents but in their win over Providence, the Johnnies inside game came up big.