St. John’s basketball squanders chance at victory against Boston College

St. John's basketball forward Chris Ledlum runs back on defense (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball forward Chris Ledlum runs back on defense (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

The St. John’s basketball team squandered a chance at victory against Boston College. 

Basketball is a game of runs but St. John’s head coach Rick Pitino has seen enough of opponents scoring often on his Red Storm.

It happened again on Sunday evening in the Barclays Center as the Johnnies saw a 10-point second half lead quickly erased by Boston College in its 86-80 defeat.

“We are not going to win until we commit to defense, and this group is not,” Pitino said following his team’s third loss in non-conference play.

St. John’s used a 14-0 run coming out of halftime to seemingly seize control of the game, 52-42, with 14:54 remaining but the Eagles only needed three minutes to turn that deficit into a 1-point lead, 55-54.

The Hall of Famer continued to express his own faults by bringing in 14 players to Queens who only know how to play offense, not defense.

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Boston College shot 56.4-percent from the field — 61.9-percent in the second half — as head coach Earl Grant said his team just had to keep things “simple” when attacking the Johnnies in the halfcourt.

The Eagles connected on 60.4-percent of its 2-point attempts.

“The halfcourt defense is abominable,” Pitino stated. “They don’t absorb scouting.”

It was the same message when the Red Storm let a victory slip away in the second half against Dayton in the Charleston Classic.

St. John’s basketball must correct issues quickly

Boston College (8-3) pushed its lead to two possessions, 76-70, on a Chas Kelly III 3-pointer with 3:11 remaining and St. John’s could not get the game back within one possession.

“It’s as disappointing of a loss that I have had,” Rick Pitino explained. “Not because of the score, not because of losing. It’s the way we are losing.”

“Everyone of my teams have been great defensive teams with extraordinary effort and these guys just want to score the ball and, unfortunately, if you do that you are not going to be a great basketball team.”

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Daniss Jenkins battled foul trouble and was limited to just 26 minutes on the floor but had an impressive performance with 10 points, eight rebounds, four steals, and no turnovers.

Joel Soriano led the charge offensively with 21 points and 11 rebounds while Chris Ledlum added 16 points and 11 rebounds.

St. John’s (6-3) will have the week off and return to action on Saturday, December 16 against Fordham (5-5) inside Madison Square Garden.

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