The Red Storm had several opportunities late in the second half to take control of the game, getting within 59-55 on Daryll Hill's foul line jumper with 2:14 left. But St. John's turned the ball over 18 times to fall to 6-6, 0-2 in the Big East. West Virginia, which didn't play especially well either, had 19 turnovers and shot just 31.6 percent (6-of-19) from 3-point range."I think sometimes we get a little lackadaisical, we throw some ill-advised passes and we don't catch the ball when we should," St. John's coach Norm Roberts said. "They played a disruptive 1-3-1 so that does bother you because they take away passing lanes."As was the case in a 79-65 loss to No. 6 Syracuse Jan. 5, Hill and forward Lamont Hamilton again scored the bulk of the Red Storm's points. Hill finished with a career-high 29 points and scored all three of his team's 3-pointers, but had no assists and seven turnovers. Hamilton added 15 points on 6-of-10 shooting before fouling out late but the rest of the team combined for 16 points on 11 shots."Those are our two go-to guys so they're going to get a lot of the looks but the other guys will step up," Roberts said. "We need to get (Eugene Lawrence) shooting the ball more. He's doing a good job running the team but he's got to step up and take some shots." Coming off an embarrassing 38-point loss to Villanova in the conference opener Jan. 5, West Virginia (11-1, 1-1) made the most of its second chance shots, holding a 30-21 rebounding edge, scoring 14 points on its 12 offensive rebounds.D'Or Fischer had 18 points - 12 in the first half - Mike Gansey had 12 and Johannes Herber added 10 for the Mountaineers, which never led by more than nine in the second half and only once had a 10-point lead, 20-10 on a 3-pointer by Patrick Beilein with 12:42 left in the first half."We should have won this one," Hamilton said. "But we made too many mistakes."That was certainly the case midway through the second half when the Red Storm had four chances to cut into West Virginia's seven-point lead, but Cedric Jackson was called for a charge after stealing the ball on the Red Storm's three-quarter court press, Ryan Williams threw the ball away on the baseline, Hill forced a shot and Lawrence was called for a charge."I thought that was our moment to make a move, make some plays, and we rushed it," Roberts said. "We're a young team though, and that'll improve."Added Lawrence, who had two points on just two shots: "We all feel this was a winnable game. They're a good team, they play together, but we felt we could win this one."The Red Storm remains on the road Saturday at Notre Dame before returning home to face Pittsburgh Tuesday night at Madison Square Garden.Syracuse 79, St. John's 65. Hill scored a game-high 23 points, but 11 came in the final 4:24 as the Orange took away his outside shot for much of the game and forced him to penetrate the lane where 7-foot Craig Forth was waiting. Hamilton added 20 points and helped the Red Storm hold a 31-28 rebounding edge before he fouled out late in the Big East opener at Madison Square Garden Jan. 5.Hakim Warrick scored five points during a 12-2 run that put Syracuse ahead 37-28 at the break. Warrick, who scored a variety of ways, finished with 22 points and six rebounds. Reach Sports Editor Dylan Butler by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 718-229-0300, Ext. 143.
©2005 Community News Group
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