St. John’s is beginning to show its potential, winning four of its last five games following an impressive victory last Saturday against Marquette. The Red Storm are 13-9 overall and 3-6 in Big East play heading into Thursday night’s game at Providence.
“They’ve just been on this steady climb since halftime of the Georgetown game,” head coach Steve Lavin said.
Then came the heartbreakers for a team that Lavin called “snakebit in terms of the number of close losses.” A game slipped out of grasp against Villanova; a two-point loss at DePaul; a stunning double overtime loss at home to Providence was bitter.
“We were very disappointed that we lost because we had the game won,” guard Sir’ Dominic Pointer said. “We found a way to lose and that’s our fault.”
A victory against Dartmouth got the Johnnies back in the win column. St. John’s held off Seton Hall for its first Big East win of the season after five consecutive losses, and then went on the road and defeated Butler. After a loss in the final seconds on the road to Creighton, the Red Storm came back to Madison Square Garden and dispatched the Golden Eagles.
“This is four out of five wins for us and we have some great momentum,” said D’Angelo Harrison after his 27-point performance led St. John’s to a win over Marquette. “Everything is moving in the right direction and everyone just bought in.”
“I actually think we have played better in some of the recent games that we lost,” Lavin said. “It’s one of the mysteries of the game that makes it tough to figure.” The winning coach went on to say that “sometimes you play really well and lose, sometimes you play ok and win.”
For the coaches and players who get to see everything, the turnaround is not a surprise.
“We always have great practices and it’s finally clicking now,” said Harrison.
– David Russell