NEW YORK -- A quick take on St. John's 76-59 loss to No. 4 Syracuse on Wednesday night at Madison Square Garden.
WHAT IT MEANS: St. John's drops to 10-5 on the season and 3-2 in the Big East. It's the Red Storm's second straight loss, following a 15-point defeat at No. 15 Notre Dame on Saturday. Syracuse remains unbeaten -- 17-0, and 4-0 in the conference.
THE MOMENTUM SHIFT: St. John's actually jumped out to a 15-7 lead with just over nine minutes remaining in the first half -- Syracuse jacked up a few bad 3-point attempts, and was sloppy with the basketball. But the Red Storm were outscored 28-9 the rest of the half. The second half was no contest as St. John's never got the margin closer than nine, in the very early going.
THAT'S COLD Syracuse, featuring its famous 2-3 zone, came in ninth in the country in field goal defense, allowing teams to shoot only 37.2 percent against. St. John's almost hit that number exactly, finishing 21-for-57 (36.8 percent). Dwight Hardy, the Red Storm's leading scorer, shot just 4-for-15, and finished with 12 points. D.J. Kennedy scored just four points, on five shots. Justin Brownlee led the Johnnies with 13.
ON THE OTHER HAND: After a slow start, Syracuse torched St. John's, shooting 57.4 percent from the field, and connecting on 9 of 20 3-point attempts. The Orange made 17 of 27 shots in the second half (63 percent). It was a balanced attack: Four players scored in double figures, led by Kris Joseph with 18 and Brandon Triche with 15.
FAN REACTION: This was the biggest crowd of the four games St. John's has played in the Garden so far this season -- 14,440 -- but it was balanced between St. John's and Syracuse fans. The Red Storm faithful were quiet in the second half, understandably.
WHAT'S NEXT: St. John's will host Notre Dame -- the team that just beat them handily on Saturday in South Bend -- Sunday at the Garden. Syracuse will host Cincinnati at the Carrier Dome on Saturday.