St. John's basketball has no answers without Rick Pitino against Seton Hall

The St. John's basketball team had no answers for Seton Hall without Rick Pitino leading the ship.
Jan 16, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Dylan Addae-Wusu (0) drives to the
Jan 16, 2024; Newark, New Jersey, USA; Seton Hall Pirates guard Dylan Addae-Wusu (0) drives to the / Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

You could not have scripted a worse night for the St. John's basketball team.

Rick Pitino and Jordan Dingle tested positive for COVID-19 hours before tipoff on Tuesday night against Seton Hall.

The Johnnies would miss its first ten shots and trail 13-2 against the Pirates, while it should have been down by far more, but the Red Storm would settle into the game and battle back to somehow find itself tied, 24-24, with 4:33 left in the first half before the wheels came off like a rocket.

Seton Hall would go on a 14-0 run and take a 38-24 lead going into halftime. The Pirates would add the first 14 points of the second half on an extended 28-0 run.

It was, by far, the worst performance of the season in every aspect, execution and effort specifically.

"It's not about excuses," acting head coach Steve Masiello said. "This is college basketball, adversity is going to happen everyday."

"You have to respond to adversity...and we have to respond better."

It ended in an 80-65 loss, which doesn't indicate how much Seton Hall controlled things.

Daniss Jenkins said on Monday that he thought the team was going to come out with a hunger after its gut-wrenching loss on Saturday at No. 22 Creighton in the final seconds, and it couldn't have been further from reality.

"They punked us," Jenkins said.

"[The effort] was terrible from each and every one of us. It's unacceptable."

The defense was out of place and disjointed and let the Pirates shoot 32 free throws, making 26 (81.3-percent).

Seton Hall (13-5, 6-1 Big East) led by as many as 28 points, 57-29.

"It's about just taking a step back and really challenging ourselves as men, as players," Jenkins added. "They played their game, that's the was we should play."

It's the first time St. John's (12-6, 4-3 Big East) has lost two consecutive games this season.

Joel Soriano was a non-factor with six points and four rebounds, being outplayed by Seton Hall backup center Elijah Hutchins-Everett's 14 points and seven rebounds, who was averaging 3.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game entering the contest.

Soriano did not play the final 14:49 of the game.

Ex-St. John's guard Dylan Addae-Wusu shined against his former team with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and five assists but the Red Storm had no answer for the 21 points of Al-Amir Dawes.

There will be a lot of uncertainty surrounding the Red Storm and the availability of its head coach and players as they prepare for No. 17 Marquette (12-5, 3-3 Big East) on Saturday (12:00 p.m. ET, FOX).