St. John’s basketball overwhelmed early by No. 23 Iowa State

St. John's basketball center Joel Soriano (Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune)
St. John's basketball center Joel Soriano (Nirmalendu Majumdar/Ames Tribune) /

The St. John’s basketball team was overwhelmed early against No. 23 Iowa State. 

The first real challenge of the season for the St. John’s basketball team was over before it really got started on Sunday in Ames against No. 23 Iowa State.

The Cyclones (7-1) jumped out to a 17-2 lead over the Red Storm (8-1) and never looked back in its wire-to-wire victory, 71-60.

St. John’s did not make a field goal until the 9:53 mark in the first half and could never climb itself out of the massive hole it dug for itself.

The Johnnies had more turnovers (20) than made field goals (19) and despite its efforts to try and make a run, it never felt like the outcome of the game was in doubt.

The Red Storm had a chance to cut its 10-point first half deficit down to seven with 4:38 left before halftime but Montez Mathis was called for a questionable offensive foul, on what would have been a potential 3-point play, and Mike Anderson was assessed a technical foul for arguing the call.

Jaren Holmes made one of the two technical free throws and Demarion Watson finished off a dunk on the following possession to give the Cyclones a 13-point lead and swing the game back in their favor.

The start of the second half was much like the first as Iowa State continued to create separation before the Red Storm crept back into the game and had a chance to get within eight points at the free throw line with 3:42 left but there was no magic in Hilton Coliseum for the Johnnies.

Posh Alexander led the way with 14 points but only had two rebounds and eight turnovers in the loss while both Mathis and Rafael Pinzon had 13 points.

St. John’s basketball cannot recover from familiar situation

All season St. John’s has been able to recover from its poor starts but there were no halftime adjustments that was able to dig the Red Storm out of a 17-point road deficit.

In its four marquee games (Nebraska, Temple, Syracuse, and Iowa State), the Johnnies have trailed by double-digits in the first half of each contest.

Slow starts continue to be an issue for the team and in a matchup on the road against a well-coached and veteran squad the sluggish beginning finally caught up with the Red Storm as they let a major NCAA Tournament resume opportunity slip through its fingers.

Dylan Addae-Wusu (undisclosed) was not dressed to play and O’Mar Stanley did not see any action despite being dressed.

St. John’s return to Queens to open Big East play on Wednesday night (6:30p.m. ET, FS1) against DePaul (5-3).