St. John’s basketball ‘quits’ in blowout loss to Seton Hall

St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball guard Posh Alexander (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a tough afternoon in New Jersey for the St. John’s basketball team. 

This script had been written before for the St. John’s basketball team.

In fact, the movie was shown just ten days ago in Villanova, Pennsylvania.

The Johnnies, after a horrid first half on Wednesday against No. 22 Xavier, came out swinging against rival Seton Hall for ten minutes.

St. John’s opened up a 23-13 lead due to its energy and hustle, which was highlighted by a chase down steal from Andre Curbelo, corralled loose ball by Posh Alexander, and an alley-oop to Joel Soriano.

Then, a switch flipped.

Seton Hall (8-7, 1-3 Big East) was suffocating the Red Storm defensively and St. John’s could not stop the bleeding as the Pirates turned a 10-point deficit into a 5-point lead, 42-37, at halftime.

Things continued to snowball for the Red Storm (11-4, 1-3 Big East) in the second half as it fell, 88-66, in its third straight loss.

“The last game of 2022 didn’t go as planned,” head coach Mike Anderson said following the defeat.

St. John’s was outscored by 32 points in the final 29:42 of the game.

“Evidently, I didn’t do a good job at getting our guys fully prepared.”

It was the third straight game in which a team rattled off a massive run against the Johnnies as Villanova took a 17-2 run into the halftime locker room, Xavier put together a 16-0 run against St. John’s, and Seton Hall went into halftime on a 22-8 burst.

“Today, I feel like we just quit…I feel like they had more fight than us. We have to come out with more heart,” center Joel Soriano said after the game.

St. John’s shot 35.3-percent from the floor in the second half and only made 1-of-10 attempts from 3-point range after halftime.

Soriano was one of the few Johnnies that played well with 23 points and 11 rebounds.

“We haven’t responded the right way [to adversity],” Anderson continued.

Seton Hall had not scored more than 82 points in a game this season, including in its 82-55 triumph over Division II Lincoln University in early December.

St. John’s basketball looking to find answers quickly

Saturday’s loss has to be a major eye-opener for St. John’s, if Wednesday’s defeat against Xavier was not enough.

Seton Hall is not 22 points better than the Red Storm, even on its home floor, but Joel Soriano’s quote is more troubling.

Missing shots and defensive assignments is one thing, but quitting in the fourth game of league play is a completely different obstacle this team must overcome.

“When adversity hits us we have to be tougher,” Soriano explained.

“We are getting punched in our face and we just keep getting punched and we are not responding well right now.”

Things do not get any easier as Marquette (10-4, 2-1 Big East) rolls into Queens on Tuesday night (6:30p.m., FS1).

However, Soriano thinks that there is still time for St. John’s to figure out its issues and this team can get tougher as the season progresses.

“It’s very early in the season…We’re definitely not where we want to be right now but it’s early.”

“We’re going to turn it around.”