Brooklyn, NY—In their penultimate game of 2014, the Red Storm of St. John’s (11-easily defeated the Tulane Green Wave (9-3) 82-57, in a noon start on Sunday at the Barclays Center. The win was the seventh straight for the 17/19 nationally ranked Johnnies. The most recent season in which St. John’s began by winning 11 of its first 12 contests was 1985-86.
The game on Sunday appeared to be divided into sections. The lead changed hands six times and neither team led by more than three points during the first five minutes.
After trailing by three, their biggest deficit, the Red Storm outscored the visitors from New Orleans 41-3 to take a 47-22 lead at the half. Each coach, now in his fifth year with his current team, spoke about the period of the contest that determined the outcome.
Steve Lavin, the head coach of the Johnnies, talked happily of his team’s high level of play during the opening half, “I thought in the first half we were hitting on all cylinders and it was an impressive brand of basketball. We shared the ball as we had 13 assists in the first half on 18 field goals. We had a nice rhythm offensively, and defensively we were active and aggressive.”
Tulane coach Ed Conroy disappointingly commented, “Credit St. John’s. Obviously, they came out with a lot of energy and intensity. I thought their toughness on the defensive end really led to their offense. We knew if we were to turn it over or take some of the shots we took they would convert those into easy points and that’s just what they did.”
The first half statistics confirm the correctness of the assessments of the coaches. St John’s led in points off tournovers-14-2, fast break points-12-0, and points in the paint-26-6.
The Red Storm advantage in the second half only shifted between 21 and 27 points and the game ended with a 25 point St. John’s lead, 82-57, as each team scored 35 in the second half.
Lavin was troubled by his team’s play in the second half, “In the second half, we were disjointed and did not perform to the best of our ability. I was disappointed with our performance.”
Four seniors and a junior started on St. John’s experienced team. The team’s leading scorer, Sir’Dominic Pointer, had an outstanding performance that exhibited his versatility. He led all scorers with 24 points on 9 of 13 from the floor and 6 of 7 from the charity stripe. He had seven steals, four assists, two blocks and four rebounds.
Lavin had high words of praise for his star player, “Dom is playing at a very high level. His numbers indicate he is as productive a player as we have. He influences the game in so many ways on both sides of the ball.”
St. John’s begins conference play with a contest at Seton Hall on December 31.