Red Storm drops third straight Big East game

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The St. John’s Red Storm dropped their third consecutive conference game, losing a 63-61 overtime decision to the Seton Hall Pirates Tuesday night at the Meadowlands. Mike Jarvis’ club had dropped two straight to Connecticut and Providence entering the matchup.

St. John’s overcame a 16-point first half deficit to take the lead in the second half and had a chance to win it on the final possession of regulation, but a desperation jumper by Marcus Hatten missed the mark at the buzzer, forcing the extra session.

St. John’s was 2-of-6 from the line in the overtime period and a layup by Seton Hall’s Ty Shine with just under a minute to play tied the game at 61. Hatten, who led all scorers with 29 points, was called for traveling with 26 seconds left on the clock when the Pirates’ press trapped the junior college transfer, inducing a walk.

Darius Lane hit two free throws with four seconds left to give Seton Hall the hard-fought win, a win that looked like a Seton Hall blowout in the first half.

The Pirates used an 18-4 run during the final six minutes of the first half to seize control of the Big East matchup. Lane hit back-to-back threes to start the run, breaking a 20-20 tie, and added another with 1:46 remaining in the first half. A basket by Andre Barrett moments later pushed the Pirates’ lead to 16, 38-22, and forcing Jarvis to call a timeout.

St. John’s (13-7, 4-5) seemed to be clicking on all cylinders in the early going, taking an 8-2 lead on two baskets by Hatten and free throws by Anthony Glover and Andre Stanely — a walk-on starting in place of the injured Willie Shaw. But Seton Hall responded by quickly rolling off 11 straight points to take a 13-8 lead at the 13:43 mark. Following two free throws by Sharif Fordham and a three-pointer by Barrett, the lead was six, 16-10, before St. John’s started to show signs of life again.

Kyle Cuffe scored four consecutive points and Hatten scored four straight minutes later to pull St. John’s even at 20. That’s when Lane got hot.

In the second half, St. John’s began chipping away at the Seton Hall lead, as Hatten, Eric King and Stanley began to take over the game.

The Red Storm regained the lead at 9:20, when Hatten scored off a King missed free throw. But the lead was short-lived, as the two teams traded the advantage several times down the stretch. A Hatten three with 1:48 remaining gave St. John’s a 55-53 lead, but Marcus Toney-El hit two free throws in the final seconds and Hatten failed to convert the final shot of regulation.

St. John’s will try to bounce back Sunday when the team hits the road to take on Virginia Tech at 2 p.m.

Providence 75, St. John’s 70. John Linehan had 19 points, six steals and five assists to power Providence past the Johnnies Saturday night, as the Friars swept the season series. Hatten had 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Glover added 15 points and 14 rebounds for SJU. Cuffe and Fordham had 14 and 13 points, respectively, for St. John’s off the bench.

Connecticut 75, St. John’s 70. Jarvis and Co. dropped a heartbreaker in Storrs, losing to a ranked opponent for the first time this season despite 16 points from Hatten and a career-high 16 from Donald Emanuel. The No. 25 ranked Huskies were led by Johnnie Selvie with 13. Astoria native and St. John’s Prep grad Taliek Brown finished with nine points for UConn.

Reach Sports Editor Anthony Bosco by e-mail at TimesLedger@aol.com or call 229-0300, Ext. 130.

Updated 10:26 am, October 12, 2011
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