New Year’s Eve Snacks: Seton Hall springs an upset of St. John’s

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IMPORTANT OUTCOMES

1. Seton Hall 78, No. 15 St. John’s 67: Playing without Isaiah Whitehead, Seton Hall pulled off an upset in the opening game of the Big East season, knocking off No. 15 St. John’s at the Prudential Center. The Johnnies once against dug themselves a hole, falling behind by as much as 14 points in the second half. They made a run — D’Angelo Harrison finished with 25 points and got St. John’s within two points with five minutes left — but the Pirates were able to pull away down the stretch. Sterling Gibbs and Jaron Sina made a number of big plays late in the game.

2. No. 4 Wisconsin 89, Penn State 72: With an 11-1 record entering their Big Ten opener at Wisconsin, Penn State had the opportunity to show that it should be regarded as a team capable of factoring into the conference race. Things didn’t work out that way for the Nittany Lions, as Nigel Hayes scored 21 points and Frank Kaminsky added a double-double (18 points, 14 rebounds) to lead the Badgers to the win in Madison. Four Wisconsin starters reached double figures in the win, and as a team Bo Ryan’s bunch shot 63.8% from the field.

3. Xavier 70, No. 25 Georgetown 53: The final college basketball game of 2014 was a good one for the Musketeers, who knocked off the Hoyas in the Big East opener for both. Jalen Reynolds scored 17 points off the bench and guards Remy Abell and Dee Davis added 12 apiece for Xavier, which outscored Georgetown 39-28 in the second half. The Hoyas shot just 36.2% from the field for the game and 2-for-13 from beyond the arc, with D’Vauntes Smith-Rivera scoring 18 points and Joshua Smith ten in a losing effort.

STARRED

1. Jahlil Okafor, Duke: Wofford gave No. 2 Duke a fight, but the Blue Devils pulled away late for an 84-55 win. Okafor was the guy — again — finishing with 24 points, eight boards, two blocks and two steals while shooting 11-for-13 from the floor.

2. Sterling Gibbs, Seton Hall: Gibbs made a number of huge plays down the stretch, including a pull-up three to end a St. John’s run late in the second half. He finished with 25 points and eight assists in the upset win.

3. LaDontae Henton, Providence: Henton scored 35 points on 12-for-21 shooting from the field and grabbed eight rebounds in the Friars’ 65-53 win over Creighton.

4. Bobby Hain, Youngstown State: Hain accounted for 22 points, 14 rebounds and five assists in the Penguins’ 78-74 win over Northern Kentucky.

STRUGGLED

1. UConn at the foul line: The Huskies, one of the nation’s best foul shooting teams a season ago, made just eight of their 19 attempts in a 57-53 overtime loss to Temple.

2. San Jose State: Shot 20 percent from the field in a 61-33 loss at Utah State. Guards Darry Gaynor and Isaac Thornton combined to shoot 5-for-32 from the field.

3. Mississippi Valley State: The Delta Devils shot 24.1% from the field and 1-for-17 from three in their 83-33 loss at No. 9 Iowa State.

TOP 25 SCORES

  • No. 2 Duke 84, Wofford 55
  • No. 4 Wisconsin 89, Penn State 72
  • No. 6 Villanova 67, Butler 55
  • No. 9 Iowa State 83, Mississippi Valley State 33
  • Seton Hall 78, No. 15 St. John’s 67
  • No. 16 Wichita State 66, Drake 58
  • No. 18 Oklahoma 61, George Mason 43
  • No. 24 Colorado State 71, Boise State 65

NOTABLES

  • Jonathan Stark had 22 points as Tulane beat East Carolina, 67-59.
  • Shaquille Harrison had 22 points to lead Tulsa to a 56-54 win over Central Florida.
  • Jesse Morgan continued his solid play with a 17-point, six-rebound performance in Temple’s 57-53 overtime win at UConn. The UMass transfer has been a difference-maker for the Owls since becoming eligible earlier this month.
  • Kendall Stephens scored 16 of his 19 points in the second half as Purdue came back from 11 down to beat Minnesota 72-68. As both a player and head coach, Matt Painter has yet to lose to the Golden Gophers in West Lafayette.
  • Ryan Arcidiacono lead four players in double figures with 15 points as No. 6 Villanova beat Butler, 67-55.
  • Robert Johnson scored 14 points and Hanner Mosquera-Perea added 12 and ten rebounds as Indiana won 70-65 at Nebraska.
  • Larry Nance Jr. scored 29 points and grabbed five rebounds as Wyoming beat UNLV 76-71 in the Mountain West opener for both. Christian Wood led the Runnin’ Rebels with 29 and seven boards.