St. John’s basketball swept at Gulf Coast Showcase despite valiant effort

St. John's basketball head coach Joe Tartamella (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Joe Tartamella (David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a tough weekend for the St. John’s basketball team at the Gulf Coast Showcase. 

Florida did not treat the St. John’s basketball team well as the Red Storm (3-4) were swept in its three games in the Sunshine State this weekend.

After finning four of its first five games, the Johnnies were set to try and pick up a couple of convincing non-conference wins at the Gulf Coast Showcase but fell out of the gates against Penn State (4-3), 80-75.

St. John’s, who saw the return of star Leilani Correa in the game, erased an early 12-point first quarter deficit and rallied to lead by nine towards the end of the first half.

The Red Storm took a five point lead into halftime before the Nittany Lions outscored the Johnnies by 11 points in the third quarter.

St. John’s would not go down without a fight, taking a one point lead midway through the fourth quarter before Penn State would rattle off a 9-0 run to take control of the game in the final minutes.

The loss set up a game with the Charlotte 49ers (2-4) in the consolation bracket of the event and after a back-and-forth first quarter the 49ers would dominant the second quarter in en route to a 82-64 victory.

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Charlotte outscored St. John’s 26-11 in the second quarter and 18-12 in the fourth quarter.

In the 7th Place game in the event St. John’s would face No. 19 UCLA (4-2), which stunningly lost to Kent State and South Dakota State in its first two games in the showcase.

The Johnnies would not be intimidated by the formidable for that the Lady Bruins presented as St. John’s put forth a valiant effort that ultimately fell short, 73-65.

After trailing at halftime, St. John’s took a 49-48 lead in the third quarter and had the game tied on multiple occasions in the fourth quarter before UCLA would end the game on a 10-2 run in the final 4:30 of the game.

St. John’s basketball schedule does not get easier

As the Red Storm currently sit below .500 on the season, the Johnnies return home to face Big East rival Seton Hall (3-2) on Sunday afternoon.

It’s likely that the Pirates will be at .500 entering Queens after Seton Hall hosts No. 3 UConn on Friday night.

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St. John’s is then scheduled to host Iona on December 8 but the Gales just had to cancel its scheduled meeting with Seton Hall on Wednesday because of multiple positive COVID-19 tests in the program.

The meeting between St. John’s and Iona is still scheduled at the current moment.

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