ST. JOHN'S 80
Next for St. John's:
Manhattan at Alumni Hall, 7:30 p.m.
TV: Ch. 55
Radio: WEVD (1050)
Next for Hofstra:
Dec. 26 at ECAC Holiday Festival vs. Rutgers, 8:30 p.m.
For the players who came to St. John's because of its storied basketball
tradition, to watch yet another round of their less-celebrated New York City
playground buddies high-five each other at their expense was almost too much to
If it's not Bevon Robin at Fordham or Brian Brown at Ohio State, it's
Norman Richardson out of Grady High School. Richardson's 22 points for Hofstra
helped end St. John's 19-game winning streak over the Long Island school down
the parkway. Hofstra's 86-80 victory at Nassau Coliseum yesterday is the latest
in a lengthening string of disappointments for a fractured St. John's team.
"It's very frustrating," St. John's freshman Willie Shaw said. "Now they
have bragging rights, even though they shouldn't have."
Shaw nearly dismantled Hofstra, now 1-19 against the Storm, by himself. He
scored 18 of his career-high 28 points in the first half after coming off the
bench for the first time this season, but he couldn't do it alone. Omar Cook
(13 points) had another poor outing, committing a season-high-tying seven
turnovers to go with 13 assists. Senior Reggie Jessie buried himself further in
coach Mike Jarvis' doghouse, missing two free throws with Hofstra ahead 78-74
and 1:59 remaining. Jessie also lost the ball out of bounds earlier in the
game, after which the coach glared and snapped at his captain.
Even stalwart Anthony Glover (17 points) suffered freshman-like indignity
when Roberto Gittens stripped the ball from his hands with Hofstra leading
70-68. Glover had the ball ripped away again by Rick Apodaca on the next
possession for a held ball, which was awarded to Hofstra. Apodaca (14 points)
hit a turnaround jumper for a 72-68 lead and the upset brewed.
"I felt we were going to come out and put these guys away, but they stayed
in the ballgame with us," Glover said.
The difference was Hofstra's poise down the stretch. Despite twice cutting
the deficit to two in the final 4:45, St. John's could not catch the Pride.
Richardson's three-pointer with 3:32 to go made it 77-72, and after Cook's
layup, the St. John's point guard fouled Richardson, who made one of two free
throws for a 78-74 lead. Jessie's missed free throws followed, and Jason
Hernandez' jumper from the key put Hofstra (6-2) up by six with 1:32 left as
the senior-laden Pride easily broke St. John's press.
Hofstra coach Jay Wright praised his players for making smart decisions.
Jarvis, meanwhile, has tired of offering explanations for his team's
The Red Storm has lost three straight and four out of five. The only loss
to a ranked team was to Kansas in the first weekend.
"I don't want any excuses about how young we are because we can't use it as
an excuse at this time," he said.
Jarvis said the other day that he would make changes after a 71-58 loss to
Ohio State. He started Alpha Bangura at shooting guard and brought Shaw off the
bench, trimmed Mohamed Diakite's minutes in favor of the more offense-minded
Kyle Cuffe (six points) and abandoned what had been a porous zone defense for
man-to-man to determine which of his players would display the most hustle.
Besides possibly moving Glover back to center, Jarvis likely will stay in
the man-to-man until he figures out who deserves the minutes. Yesterday, the
only St. John's players showing the proper verve were Sharif Fordham on defense
and Shaw on offense.
"Willie did a great job coming off the bench," Jessie said. "We need more
people to step up."
In a despondent locker room, Glover said he had "no clue" why the Red Storm
players have not come together.
"Certain people are on one page and others are on a different page," he
said. "I think we're capable of being a better team, but words are just words.
We have to start talking with our actions and stop talking with our lips."