Tonight, the St. John’s defense let them down in the second half as Providence’s hot shooting from beyond the arc led to a dominating 94-72 win
- Providence (10-4, 1-0 Big East): 94
- St. John’s (10-3, 0-1): 72
- Final, Box Score
- Carnesecca Arena, Queens, NY
One of the problems St. John’s has had all year is that they struggle to defend the three-point shot. That came back to bite them tonight in the Big East opener against Providence. The Friars made 11 of 16 trifectas in the second half as they blew out the Red Storm, 94-72, in front of a sellout crowd.
The difference in this game was the play of Providence point guard Kyron Cartwright. The Friars point guard, who had been battling an ankle injury coming into the game, looked healthy tonight. He had 21 points (8-for-11 shooting), went 5-for-7 from beyond the arc and had 15 assists. 17 of those 21 points came in the second half.
Kyron with the step back to give the Friars a 41-40 lead heading into the half #GoFriars pic.twitter.com/uV5N2s1lqR
— PC Men's Basketball (@PCFriarsmbb) December 29, 2017
Other than Cartwright, Providence’s offense had four of those five players score in double figures. Jalen Lindsey had 18 points (six three-pointers), Alpha Diallo had a double-double (16 points, 12 rebounds), and Rodney Bullock had 20 points (8-for-11 from the floor).
The score ended up being a blowout, but it’s important to remember that St. John’s was only down one point heading into halftime. Shamorie Ponds had 16 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three steals. However, he didn’t play for a good portion of the second half due to a knee injury. It is safe to say without Ponds and Marcus LoVett, it is a completely different team.
Early on, St. John’s had to play without Tariq Owens, their top shot blocker, for most of the first half due to two quick fouls in the first five minutes. With Owens on the bench, Kassoum Yakwe helped out off the bench with seven rebounds, but the Red Storm only had six blocks for the game.
There were some positives in this blowout loss. One of them was the play of Marvin Clark II. The Red Storm forward had a career-high 20 points to go with eight rebounds and he had one emphatic dunk late in the second half:
Marvin Clark now with a career-high 19 points. He'll look to complete a three-point play on the other side of this media timeout. #SJUBB trails Providence 86-71 with 3:03 to go. pic.twitter.com/8WFbqLYK7a
— St. John's BBall (@StJohnsBBall) December 29, 2017
When you watch the St. John’s offense, they do rely heavily on the three-point shot and sometimes that can lead to a scoring slump. While Providence was on fire from downtown, the Red Storm were ice cold, as they did not make a single three-point shot on ten attempts in the second half.
In the end, Providence’s offense was much more successful in the half court as they took advantage of an aggressive defense by making the extra pass and hitting open shots. Meanwhile, St. John’s didn’t have many answers for the Friars’ zone defense and at times settled for the outside shot.
Plus, give the Friars offense a lot of credit for taking good care of the basketball. While St. John’s normally forces a team to make mistakes, Providence only had ten turnovers for the entire game (St. John’s had 11).
Next Game: St. John’s will be back in action Sunday night when they head to the Prudential Center to take on 23rd-ranked Seton Hall, who defeated No. 25 Creighton earlier tonight, 90-84. You can catch the game at 5 p.m ET on FS1.