St. John’s spent the weekend outside of New York City for the first time this season and promptly fell from the ranks of the unbeaten.
Meanwhile, DePaul spent the weekend watching another impressive performance from newcomer Javan Johnson.
After a poor performance in their first loss, the Red Storm will begin Big East play Wednesday night when they host Johnson and DePaul in New York.
St. John’s (8-1) played two teams from a Power 6 conference during its unbeaten start. It beat Nebraska on its campus and outlasted Syracuse in overtime to win the Empire Classic in New York. Facing its first ranked team, the Red Storm struggled from the outset in a wire-to-wire 71-60 loss at now-No. 20 Iowa State on Sunday afternoon.
After scoring at least 70 points in the first eight games, the Red Storm missed their first nine shots, made a dreadful 35.8 percent from the floor and committed 20 turnovers. Posh Alexander led St. John’s with 14 points but also had eight turnovers, while Joel Soriano was held to seven points and former DePaul forward David Jones finished with a season-low seven.
“It’s a lesson learned,” St. John’s coach Mike Anderson said. “One of the things you’ve got to do when you go on the road is, you’ve got to be able to shoot the basketball. That cures a lot of ills.”
Jones transferred to St. John’s after two seasons with DePaul. Last season Jones averaged 14.5 points for DePaul, which is replacing him with Johnson, who scored a combined 55 points in the Blue Demons’ (5-3) overtime wins over Samford and Loyola Chicago to earn Big East Player of the Week honors Monday.
He followed up his 28-point showing in a 103-98 overtime win on Wednesday with 27 points on 10-of-18 shooting Sunday, when the Blue Demons rallied from a 17-point deficit for a 78-72 win over their fellow Chicago school.
Johnson’s performances helped the Blue Demons bounce back from shooting 26.5 percent during a three-game losing streak to Santa Clara, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M.
“I just got into a rhythm,” said Johnson, who is averaging 18.4 points as the Big East’s second-leading scorer behind UConn’s Adama Sanogo. “I needed to see the ball go through the net, and once I did, I got my scoring going.”
–Field Level Media