SYRACUSE, N.Y. — History was made in the Carrier Dome on Wednesday night. Syracuse suffered its worst loss in the 36-year history of the Dome, falling to St. John’s 93-60.
The defeat marked the first time that a Jim Boeheim-coached team has lost five nonconference games in the regular season — and Syracuse fans booed their beloved Orange off the court. Three St. John’s players scored in double figures, the Red Storm scored 32 points on 19 Syracuse turnovers and outscored the Orange 36-12 from beyond the arc in overwhelming their former Big East rivals 93-60.
“I didn’t get them ready to do what they needed to do. We just didn’t execute on defense or offense. St. John’s did. That was the game,” Boeheim said. “This is on me, not the players.”
Syracuse’s previous worst loss at the Dome was by 24 points against Seton Hall in 1998. The win snapped a two-game losing streak and was the third straight for St. John’s (6-7) over Syracuse (7-5) in three years.
St. John’s coach Chris Mullin was at a loss to explain his team’s dominating performance. “I really can’t explain it, especially with the game we’re coming off [a 92-76 loss against Penn State]. We’ve been up and down. The one thing about our team is that we’re young, we’re inexperienced,” said Mullin. “When you get effort and energy and share the ball, and do the right things, at some point things will work.”
St. John’s had only beaten one team with a winning record before the Syracuse victory. Syracuse shot 33 percent from the field and just 4 of 24 from downtown. St. John’s shot 53 percent from the field and hit 12 of 29 three-pointers.
The game was tied at 14 with 12:17 to go in the first half. From that point on, the Red Storm outscored Syracuse 79-46 — 54-31 in the second half. Syracuse climbed to within six early in the second half on six straight points from Dajuan Coleman, but St. John’s answered with six and ran away after that. Shamorie Ponds led St. John’s with 21 points. Bashir Ahmed added 20 points and Malik Ellison 16.
“I had a good feeling we were going to win,” said Ponds, who hit four three-pointers. “We just found holes in the zone and took advantage.”
Tyler Lydon, playing with a strained Achilles, had 16 points and 10 rebounds for Syracuse. Coleman had 10 points and 10 rebounds. Taurean Thompson also had 10 points. Andrew White, Syracuse’s leading scorer, was held to two points. The starting backcourt of John Gillon and Frank Howard shot a combined 3 of 16. As far as Boeheim is concerned, the loss may not even be rock-bottom.
“We have a lot of games left, a lot of difficult games. At the rate we’re playing right now, we can’t win many of those games,” he said. “That’s what I see.”
Ellison scored eight straight points on two three-pointers and putback to tie the game at 12. The game was tied at 14 when the Red Storm went on a 19-4 run to take a 33-18 lead. The Red Storm hit four consecutive three-pointers in a span of 1:36 during the run. St. John’s held a 39-29 halftime lead.