- Kieran Darcy, ESPN Staff Writer
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NEW YORK -- A few quick thoughts on St. John's 82-80 victory over San Francisco State on Saturday at Carnesecca Arena.
What it means: St. John's begins its 2013-14 season in very unimpressive fashion, barely scraping by Division II San Francisco State in an exhibition game.
The defense was awful, the offense wasn't much better. The Red Storm have A LOT of work to do.
The turning point: The Gators hung right with the Red Storm in the first half. After falling behind 14-6, they went on a 13-0 run to take a 19-14 lead. St. John's answered with an 11-0 run, but things remained tight. A 3-pointer by reserve Nick Calcaterra at the buzzer cut the Red Storm lead to one, 41-40. D'Angelo Harrison had 13 first-half points for St. John's.
San Francisco State went back in front with just over 16 minutes remaining, and led almost the entire second half. But a Harrison pullup jumper with 16.7 seconds left finally pushed St. John's back in front, 81-80. The Gators' Nefi Perdomo had a good look with under 10 seconds remaining that would have given SFSU the lead again, but it came up short. Harrison made one of two free throws, and then SFSU's Will Overton, Jr. missed on a pretty good 3-point look at the buzzer that would have won it for the Gators.
Star watch: Harrison carried St. John's offensively, finishing with a game-high 29 points. Rysheed Jordan, the preseason Big East Rookie of the Year, chipped in 16. Last year's Big East Rookie of the Year, JaKarr Sampson, scored just three points.
Perdomo had 23 points to lead San Francisco State.
Number crunch: San Francisco State shot 50 percent in the first half (14-for-28), and 52.9 percent in the second half (18-for-34). Did the Gators hit a few tough shots? Yes. But there were way too many layups and easy looks. It was an atrocious defensive performance by the Red Storm.
St. John's shot just 41.3 percent for the game (26-for-63).
What's next: The second of two exhibition games, before the regular-season opener against No. 20 Wisconsin. St. John's will host Humboldt State, another D-II school (in the same conference as San Francisco State), Monday at 7:30 p.m.