The St. John’s Red Storm almost came back from an 18-point first half deficit but ended up losing 82-70 to Arizona State.
- St. John’s (8-2) 70
- #16 Arizona State (8-0) 82
- Final, Box Score
- STAPLES Center, Los Angeles, CA
St. John’s finished up their mini west coast trip against 16th ranked Arizona State without one of their top guards, Marcus LoVett (out with knee injury). The Red Storm found themselves down 18 in the first half but did cut the deficit to one with 2:44 left. The comeback effort fell short as Arizona State scored the final 12 points to win 82-80.
Now, the Red Storm defense did hold Arizona State’s best player, guard Tra Holder, to seven points on 2-for-12 shooting, but the Sun Devils had four other players in double figures. The key player was forward Romello White, who dominated the paint all night.
White had 22 points on 8-for-10 shooting and had a team-high eight rebounds in the victory for Bobby Hurley’s team. Despite the struggles from Holder, Arizona State got 18 points from Shannon Evans II and 15 points from Kodi Justice. Both players were a combined 6-for-14 from downtown.
In the first half, St. John’s had a lot of foul trouble, which is bad for a team with not much depth. At the end of the game, all but one Red Storm player had at least three fouls. Despite the foul trouble on the interior, the Sun Devils only won the rebounding battle by a slight margin (39-36).
Shamorie Ponds had a tough time finding his shot. He went 6-for-23 from the floor and 1-for-8 from downtown but still finished with 19 points to go with six rebounds and seven assists. Despite his off night, he still found a way to get to the basket in the second half and get free points at the line.
With Ponds struggling to make shots, the Red Storm found a way to get back in the game thanks to the play from their frontcourt. Marvin Clark II had 18 points and Tariq Owens had 13 of his 17 points in the second half (8-for-10 shooting in the game).
When St. John’s looks back at this game, they missed many opportunities to close the gap at the free throw line. The team was 13-for-22 from the charity stripe, including only 2-for-6 from Justin Simon. That will not get it done when the team starts Big East play. Meanwhile, Arizona State was 23-for-27.
From a turnover standpoint, St. John’s did only turn the ball over 11 times for the entire game. With that being said, the team got within one point and it was a turnover by Simon, his only one of the game, that got the ball back to Arizona State. On that next possession, Justice hit a three-pointer to start the 11-0 run.
In the end, the Red Storm can take a lot of positives from this game. Their defense tightened up in the second half and they got secondary scoring from the frontcourt. On the other hand, the backcourt had a tough time generating offense between Ponds, Simon, and Bashir Ahmed (1-for-8, seven points).
Plus, St. John’s missed out on a chance to get a top 20 win on their resume out of the conference. Their last chance for that opportunity will be February 3 when the team hosts Duke (currently number one in the nation).
Next Game: St. John’s will play their first game at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, December 17 when they take on the Iona Gaels in the MSG Holiday Festival. You can watch the game on FS1 at 4:30 p.m ET.