Red Storm Crashes Boards; Crushes WVU

West Virginia played poorly on offense and worse on defense in a 72-53 whipping at the hands of St. John's on Saturday.

The story of the game was rebounding, as the Red Storm collected an incredible 22 offensive rebounds on their way to blasting WVU 44-35 on the glass. As a result of the board dominance St. John's got off 20 more shots than WVU. Only poor shooting by the men from Jamaica kept WVU within shouting distance on the day.

The tone was set in the game's first minute as St. John's grabbed offensive rebounds on their first two possessions and converted them for hoops and an early 4-0 lead. The Red Storm had 27 second chance points on the afternoon.

The Red Storm put the game away in the closing stages of the first half by holding WVU to only one field goal in the final 6:30 of the period. St. John's had an 11-3 run over the final 5:15 of the stanza to open a 35-23 halftime bulge.

West Virginia also helped the St. John's effort with some of the worst defense ever displayed by a Gale Catlett squad. The Mountaineers allowed pass after pass to go from the perimeter to the interior without challenge, and as a result the poor shooting Johnnies were able to score enough points to get the win.

The Mountaineers tried both a 2-3 zone and diamond and one, but neither was particularly effective in stopping Red Storm penetration via either the pass or the drive.

On the offensive end, West Virginia wasn't much better, as the halfcourt attack was stagnant and choppy. Chris Moss was particularly unaggressive after a few first half drives, and other than Jonathan Hargett no one seemed willing to attack the basket or even attempt to put pressure on the defense.

The offensive problems were compounded by the lack of effective transition offense. West Virginia had several fast break opportunities, but poor passes, worse decision making and passive moves caused the majority of those chances to end in missed shots or turnovers.

For WVU, Lionel Armstead and Jonathan Hargett each had 13 points, while Chris Moss added 11. Freshman Eric king led St. John's with 18 points while point guard Marcus Hatten added 17.

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