St. John's beats Duke
Shagari Alleyne rumored to be interested in the Red Storm.
Rutgers trying to keep its post season hopes alive.
There was a lot on the line on this game and the Knights played like it. For a half, then the Red Storm's Marcus Hatten went on such a scoring frenzy that you might as well have called him the "Mad Hatten." Here's how it went.
After a sluggish start Rutgers jumped out to a 14-10 lead on tough heady play by Sean Axani on defense and the shooting of Ricky Shields and Jerome Coleman on offense.
The Knights simply were outplaying the Red Storm. RU was limited St. John's to shots they didn't want. On offense the Knights worked the ball well for good shots. By the seven and a half minute mark, the Knights still held a four point advantage 22-18.
The Red Storm came back. They capped off an 8 point run with a three point play by Marcus Hatten to take a 28-27 lead with a minute and a half to go.
Adrian Hill scored on a wide open lay up with :35 to go in the half to put the Knights back on top by one and end scoring in the first half.
At half time Jerome Coleman led the Knights with with 9 points. Ricky Shield had 5. Marcus Hatten led all scorers with 13. Rutgers held St. John' to .312 shooting from the field in the first half.
While the first half was close the second half was a laugher.
It was bad right off the bat. St. John's went on a five point run to open a 33-29 lead at the 18 minute mark. By the 17 minute mark, the Johnnie extended that lead to five but more importantly Jerome Coleman picked up his third foul forcing him to the bench along with Axani who had picked up his fourth. Rutgers by that time was scoreless in the second half. It was finally a driving jumper by Mike Sherrod at the 16:45 mark that broke the scoring drought for the Knights.
However, with Coleman on the bench the Knights had trouble developing an offense. RU utilized tough defense to keep the Red Storm from pulling away and a three point play by Adrian Hill to cut the St. John Lead to two at the fourteen minute mark.
It was then when disaster stuck. Two straight fouls to Herve Lamizana put him on the bench with four. The three point play, off that foul, pushed the Red Storm lead up to seven points with 13 minutes to go in the game. A couple of minutes later a Marcus Hatten three threatened to turn the game into a blow out.
Gary Waters was forced to put Coleman back into the game at the ten minute mark with St. John's leading by 11. It didn't help, Hatten was now red hot. When the shooting of Marcus Hatten extended the St. John's lead to 15, Waters forced to put Lamizana back in the game as well. By that point it made no difference. Marcus Hatten was on fire. Making incredible off balance shots from all over the court Hatten just couldn't miss. By the 7 minute mark Hatten had a career high 35 points and St. John's had a 60-41 lead.
That basically was the game. By the four and a half minute mark St. John's led by 26 and Marcus Hatten had an incredible 44 points.
The final score was St. John's 75 , Rutgers 59 .
Talk about it on the Bulletin Boards:
Mike Fasano: MikeFasano@comcast.net
Mike and the Big Dog's LLC