St. John's Basketball: Why the Red Storm Were Stopped by Seton Hall

Chris Dela RosaContributor IMarch 3, 2011

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 30: D.J. Kennedy #1 of the St. John's Red Storm celebrates the win against the Duke Blue Devils  at Madison Square Garden on January 30, 2011 in New York City.  (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)
Nick Laham/Getty Images

In a game St. John's should have won, the result was the complete opposite.  By the end of the game, head coach Steve Lavin had been ejected after yelling at the referees for their questionable calls. Once the Pirates were up by 10, the Seton Hall student section broke out with the chant, "Overrated!" repeatedly.

The fact of the matter is it was not the referees' fault that the Red Storm lost; St. John's did not play to win.  Missed shots, poor decisions along with the poor refereeing all culminated in an embarrassing loss by St. John's.

On offense, St. John's was not as explosive as they've been in the past.  At times the Red Storm would show signs of the high level of play they've been playing at all season, but their poor shot selection is what killed them on offense.  

The statistics reflect St. John's inability to shoot as they went 21-53 (39.6 percent). The fact that St. John's could not score in the paint also made a huge impact; Justin Burrell, who did well against Pittsburgh's big men like Gary McGhee, could not handle the Pirates in the paint.

St John's defense was more of the same story; too many fouls and leaving opponents open allowed Seton Hall (the worst three-point shooting team in Big East) to make 12 three-pointers.  St. John's defense, which has been praised for their ability to put pressure on opponents game in and game out, allowed the Pirates to hit 27 of their 42 attempted field goals.

Although it seemed like everything was going against St. John's, it could have been much worse.  Seton Hall missed 14 of their 32 free throws, shooting at a meager 56 percent from the free throw line.  Even when St. John's benefited form the Pirates' mistakes, they could not follow through with big plays (except for Justin Brownlees' four point play).

When all of the above is pieced together, it was only fitting that St. John's lost the game; they did not deserve to win.  Aside from losing the chance to have a double-bye in the Big East Tournament next week, this loss does help St. John's.  

This team has risen quickly in the eyes of the nation and a tough loss like this will allow them to look back at what they did wrong, regroup and prepare themselves for the Big East Tournament and the NCAA tournament.