The Nebraska men’s basketball team traveled to New York City to take on the St. John’s Red Storm. The Huskers suffered their first loss of the season, as St. John’s defended its home court, dominating NU by a score of 79-56.
Nebraska had a rough start against St. John’s, with difficulties scoring and defending all throughout the first half. The Red Storm seemed to have the Huskers’ offense mapped out, and Nebraska’s best players couldn’t generate enough offense to keep them in the game. St. John’s guards, Shamorie Ponds and Marcus LoVett combined for 22 points and slipped past Nebraska’s defense throughout the first half. Heading into the second half The Red Storm led 37-24.
The Huskers turned the ball over 11 times in the first half, and the Red Storm turned the turnovers into six points. Nebraska’s play also palled in comparison to St. John’s inside the paint, only scoring eight points to The Red Storm’s 16 points.
Nebraska’s scoring difficulties came from a combination of solid defense from the Red Storm and shooting troubles from all areas of the court. The Huskers shot 8-27 in the first half, and no player stood out as a scorer. Not even a four-point play from Anton Gill could bring the Huskers back to life, as mere seconds later, LoVett nailed a circus layup to end the half.
At the start of the second half, the Huskers’ shooting improved, but a weak interior defense helped St. John’s maintain its lead. Shooters like Evan Taylor and James Palmer Jr. found their stroke, hitting two three-pointers between the two of them. The Red Storm still found offense in their two starting guards, as LoVett and Ponds continued to fill up the stat sheet.
The game began getting chippy, as the Huskers’ frustrations began to show. Small scuffles started to break out inside the paint, and both teams were called for technical fouls. The Red Storm used these distractions to their advantage and took a huge 64-44 lead on Nebraska nearing the 11 minute mark of the second half.
By the end of the contest, St. John’s had run away with the game the Red Storm finishing on top by a score of 79-56.
The Red Storm were the better team throughout the night in almost every aspect of the game. Defensively, St. John’s forward, Tariq Owens dominated the floor, recording six of his team’s 10 blocks. Owens did not allow Nebraska to make any easy layups and protected the paint feverishly throughout the contest. The backcourt combination of LoVett, Ponds and Justin Simon combined for 49 of The Red Storm’s 79 points.
With this win, St.John’s helps the Big East tie up the annual Big East vs Big Ten Gavitt Tipoff Games at 3-3. With the loss, Nebraska falls to 2-1 on the season.
Nebraska will be back in action this Sunday, Nov. 19, as the Huskers take on the North Dakota Fighting Hawks at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 1 p.m. and the game will air live on BTN and BTN2Go.