Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Rapid Reaction: St. John's 69, USF 54
By Kieran Darcy
What it means: St. John’s took care of business against the worst team in the Big East.
In the final game of the season at Carnesecca Arena, in front of a sellout crowd of 5,602, the Red Storm defeated South Florida, 69-54. St. John’s improved to 16-10 overall, 8-6 in the Big East. The Bulls dropped to 10-16 overall, 1-13 in the conference.
The Red Storm entered play Wednesday as the No. 3 team on the outside looking in, according to ESPN NCAA tournament bracketologist Joe Lunardi. A home win against last-place South Florida won’t boost the résumé a whole lot, but a loss Wednesday night would have been a major black eye.
The turning point: St. John’s scored the first eight points of the game, led by as many as 18 in the first half, and led 33-17 at intermission. South Florida is one of the worst offensive teams in all of Division I statistically, and the Bulls certainly looked the part (see below).
St. John’s opened the second half on an 8-2 run, taking its largest lead, 41-19, with 15:47 left in the game. South Florida didn’t fold, closing to within nine, 59-50, with 1:25 to play. But the Red Storm put the Bulls away from there.