Print and Go Back ESPN.com: New York Colleges [Print without images]

Sunday, December 15, 2013
Rapid Reaction: Syracuse 68, St. John's 63

By Kieran Darcy

NEW YORK -- Some quick thoughts on Syracuse's 68-63 win over St. John's on Sunday at Madison Square Garden:

What it means: St. John's didn't pull off the upset, but proved something in defeat. The Red Storm are talented enough to play with any team in college basketball, and they showed it Sunday afternoon.

Nevertheless, this is another squandered opportunity. St. John's drops to 6-3 on the season, 0-2 against Top 25 opponents. Syracuse, ranked No. 2 in the nation, improves to 10-0.

The turning point: St. John's trailed by as many as 14 in the first half, but Rysheed Jordan's layup at the buzzer cut Syracuse's lead to 39-27 at intermission.

The Red Storm came all the way back to take their first lead, 55-54, on a D'Angelo Harrison pullup jumper with 8:26 left in the game. The teams traded blows the next few minutes.

With St. John's trailing 62-60 and 3:12 to play, JaKarr Sampson had a pair of free throws to tie the game. He missed both, and C.J. Fair knocked down a jumper on the other end to make it 64-60.

On St. John's next possession, Harrison was fouled and made only one of two free throws. Fair again knocked down a jumper on the other end, making it 66-61. Syracuse closed out the game from there.

Star watch: Harrison finished with a team-high 21 points for St. John's, but shot just 6-for-19 from the field. Jordan had his best game yet, with a career-high 13 points, shooting 9-for-9 from the foul line.

Fair and freshman Tyler Ennis had 21 points apiece for Syracuse.

Number crunch: St. John's reverted back to its old form from 3-point range, shooting just 1-for-15 from beyond the arc. The Red Storm were 20-for-26 from the charity stripe (76.9 percent), but the misses down the stretch were huge.

What's next: St. John's hosts San Francisco on Wednesday at Carnesecca Arena. Syracuse hosts High Point on Friday at the Carrier Dome.