St. John’s shot 1 of 9 from behind the three point line in a 53-52 upset of No. 14 Cincinnati. That’s a terrible number.
But it was the nature of that one make that illustrated the never-say-die attitude of the invading Johnnies. Sophomore D’Angelo Harrison, playing with four fouls, was double-teamed 30 feet away from the basket with time running out on the shot clock. He leaned between the two Cincinnati defenders who had him ostensibly hemmed in, heaved a line-drive in the general direction of the basket, and nailed his team’s only deep shot of the day.
After that prayer not only drew iron, but swished, the rest almost seemed academic. Titus Rubles and Cashmere Wright made the next two buckets before Harrison nailed a more garden-variety two-pointer to put the Red Storm up 53-52 with :30 remaining. A missed Sir’Dominic Pointer free throw gave Wright one more heave at the basket, but St. John’s held on to move to 1-1 in the Big East. Cincy’s loss dropped them to the same mark.
Jakarr Sampson actually led the Red Storm, with 16 points and 8 boards, but Harrison’s 15 and 7 seemed to be just a little more clutch. Cashmere Wright played heroically for the Bearcats, notching 23 points to lead all scorers, along with 10 rebounds, a rarity from a point guard.
St. John’s was picked tenth in the preseason Big East poll, but the team looks to have at least a puncher’s chance every night. Former Texas and Houston head coach Tom Penders put his finger on the zeitgeist for this year’s Johnnies:
SJU fans should love the way the Red Storm plays. They attack. They have an identity. Fearless. Lavin gets it. Exciting style.
— Tom Penders (@TomPenders) January 5, 2013
St. John’s will host Rutgers — the team that just upset No. 24 Pitt — on January 9, hoping to move their overall record to 10-5.