Saturday, March 3, 2012
Rapid Reaction: Rutgers 61, St. John's 58
By Kieran Darcy
PISCATAWAY, N.J. -- A quick take on Rutgers' 61-58 win over St. John's on Saturday night at the Rutgers Athletic Center.
WHAT IT MEANS: In the final game of the Big East regular season, Rutgers secures the No. 11 seed in next week's conference tournament. The Scarlet Knights (14-17, 6-12 Big East) will play No. 14 seed Villanova on Tuesday at 9 p.m.
St. John's (13-18, 6-12 Big East) falls to the No. 12 seed, and will play No. 13 seed Pittsburgh on Tuesday at 2 p.m.
THE SKINNY: The first 20 minutes was about as ugly as it gets, for both teams. St. John's shot 35.3 percent, Rutgers 30 percent. The Red Storm were 0-for-9 from 3-point range, and 1-for-7 from the foul line. Neither team led by more than five, and it was 25-all at intermission.
The second half wasn't much prettier. Trailing 42-38, St. John's went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by a pair of D'Angelo Harrison treys, to make it 46-42 with just under eight minutes remaining. The game stayed tight from there. A 3-pointer by Myles Mack gave Rutgers back the lead, 57-56, with 1:16 remaining -- but then a putback by God'sGift Achiuwa made it 58-57 with 45 seconds left. Rutgers' Dane Miller followed that up with a spectacular one-hand jam off a rebound to make it 59-58 with nine seconds left.
Following a timeout, Harrison missed a deep 3-pointer with under five seconds to play. Eli Carter made two free throws with 2.6 seconds left, and Harrison's half-court heave at the buzzer hit the rim but bounced out -- close, but not enough.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT: Carter had a team-high 15 points for Rutgers. Mike Poole had 11, while Mack and Miller had 10 points apiece. Miller also had 10 rebounds.
Harrison led St. John's with 17 points, but shot just 6-for-17 from the field. Amir Garrett scored 14 points, and Achiuwa chipped in 12. Moe Harkless scored just eight points, and shot just 4-for-15.
NUMBER CRUNCH: Neither team shot better than 37 percent from the field for the game. And St. John's was just 10-for-22 from the foul line. It cost the Red Storm dearly.
WHAT'S NEXT: The Big East tournament at Madison Square Garden, starting Tuesday at noon.