Sunday, February 19, 2012

St. John's flat-out outhustles UCLA at MSG 66-63

UCLA lets St. John's slip away with victory

UCLA guard Jerime Anderson tries to get a shot past Sir'Dominic Pointer of St. John's during a game Saturday at Madison Square Garden. CHRIS CHAMBERS, GETTY IMAGES MORE PHOTOS »

AP via The Orange Country Register
Published: Feb. 18, 2012 Updated: 4:57 p.m.
Updated: 4:57 p.m.
NEW YORK — St. John's came up with a big victory by doing all the little things.

In a matchup of teams going through disappointing seasons and with little chance of postseason play, the Red Storm used a slew of hustle plays to beat UCLA, 66-63, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

The biggest of those hustle plays came with 6.5 seconds to play when Phil Greene tipped in D'Angelo Harrison's 3-point attempt as the shot clock ran out.
The offensive rebound was the first of the game for Greene, a 6-foot-2 guard, and the 19th for St. John's (11-16). It gave the Red Storm a 66-62 lead on their way to ending a four-game losing streak.

"I think we play scrappier than they do," said St. John's Moe Harkless, who had 10 points and 12 rebounds, six offensive. "We got a lot of offensive rebounds and I think we just played harder than they did."

D'Angelo Harrison scored 22 points for St. John's, which finished with 19 offensive rebounds that it turned into a 26-15 advantage in second-chance points.

"Obviously the number that stands out is the offensive rebounds," UCLA coach Ben Howland said. "We weren't quick enough to the ball. They got the loose balls. They got the second shots. We held them to 37 percent shooting but it was those second shots. They had three air balls they got back and scored on."

Jerime Anderson made one of two free throws for UCLA (15-12) with 4.7 seconds left. Harkless missed the front of a 1-and-1 with 3 seconds left but the ball bounced around for a second or two and the Bruins didn't get off a good shot to tie at the buzzer.

Last season's matchup in this game was Steve Lavin of St. John's against his former school, and UCLA prevailed 66-59 at home.

Lavin, who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6, watched the game from a suite high above the court and did an in-game interview with CBS where he reiterated that he will be back next season.

Sir'Dominic Pointer had 13 points and seven rebounds for the Red Storm.

Tyler Lamb had 18 points and David Wear and Joshua Smith both had 13 points for the Bruins. Travis Wear had 11 points and 13 rebounds for UCLA, which outrebounded St. John's, 40-39, overall.

Lamb tried to explain what happened on the play where Greene got the tip-in with 6.5 seconds left.

"We got caught looking," he said. "You can't take anything away from them. We have to have that sense of urgency to get that rebound. They did a good job of getting second shots."

UCLA finished with 16 turnovers, well above its average of 11 per game, and eight were committed by Lamb.

"It was unacceptable to have eight turnovers. That hurt our team and they were mostly costly turnovers," Lamb said. "They scored every time I turned the ball over. I've just got to slow down. Maybe I tried to do too much today."

Pointer's dunk with 13:16 left gave the Red Storm the lead for good at 47-45. The Bruins got within one point twice, the last at 54-53 on a rebound basket by Travis Wear.

Wear's rebound basket with 43 seconds left brought the Bruins to 64-62. The Red Storm ran the shot clock down and Harrison took the 3 that Greene tipped in.

Lavin coached UCLA for seven seasons and went to the NCAA Tournament in all but the last year. He took over at St. John's last season and led the Red Storm to their first NCAA tournament appearance since 2002.

He has coached four games this season but hasn't been on the bench Nov. 18 as per doctors' orders. He has been on modified duty, handling recruiting and alumni duties.

Lavin said he continues to go "week by week" as he follows doctors' orders to stay off the bench because of the energy required to give 100 percent.


UCLA sophomore center Joshua Smith (34) lands on top of St. John’s guard Moe Harkless while UCLA senior guard Jerime Anderson fights for the ball.






Daily Bruin in Men's BasketballSports
Published February 18, 2012, 4:24 pm                      

NEW YORK — With the UCLA men’s basketball team’s hopes to make a comeback hanging on a rebound, a St. John’s true freshman found the ball when a UCLA senior could not.

Jerime Anderson watched the ball as Phil Greene skid from the weak side to tap in the miss, which sealed up the 66-63 win for the Red Storm (11-16). The teams’ nonconference matchup Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden was full of moments just like that, demonstrating the younger squad’s hustle trumping the taller and tested Bruins (15-12).

“They had the sense of urgency to go and get the rebound, and they made it happen,” sophomore guard Tyler Lamb said. “They made that win happen.”

St. John’s played just six men in its rotation, composed of five true freshmen and one junior transfer. The Red Storm sat third to last in the Big East conference standings. Plus, it was coming off a four-game losing streak, each by double figures.

All of that was hardly discernible.

“They played very inspired,” Anderson said. “They played like they’ve had a tough time the last few games and they really wanted to come out and get the win.”

The game, played as a part of a home-and-home series that started with UCLA’s 66-59 win at Pauley Pavilion last season, was a back-and-forth affair that neither team could fully grasp control of.

But plenty of overwhelmingly lopsided statistics negated any advantage UCLA could have had.

The Bruins had 16 turnovers, eight charged to Lamb, who led UCLA with 18 points.
St. John’s also grabbed 19 offensive rebounds and ended up with 26 second-chance points.

On one sequence, Sir’Dominic Pointer was able to grab his own miss for an offensive board – while sitting firmly on his rear 10 feet away from the basket. It saved a possession, which ended with Pointer slamming down a tip-dunk with one hand.

That was two of 34 points in the paint, all by a team UCLA players said played a “five-guard lineup.” St. John’s didn’t play a player taller than 6 feet 8 inches against a host of Bruins that stand 6 feet 10 inches.

“We held them to 37 percent (shooting) but we got hurt on the second shots,” UCLA coach Ben Howland said. “There was at least three times tonight where they air balled a shot and got it back and scored. Three different times where it was an air ball that we were either slow to rebound or they somehow got to it and put it back in.”

The scrappy, youthful St. John’s squad didn’t have the services of its coach, former UCLA skipper Steve Lavin, still on the mend from prostate cancer surgery.

Lavin watched from a box seat, telling CBS: “Coaches have different styles and I’m pretty active along the sidelines, so it wouldn’t be fair to the kids for me to ask them to give 100 percent if I’m not capable.”

He watched his team give plenty of effort, while the Bruins left for a cross-country flight wondering if they had given theirs.

“I’m not sure if we were outhustled – we just didn’t play our style of basketball,” redshirt sophomore forward David Wear said. “We fed into their style.”


Rapid Reaction: St. John's 66, UCLA 63

By Peter Yoon
ESPN Los Angeles, UCLA Report
February, 18, 2012 1:06 PM PT

UCLA's road woes continued Saturday when the Bruins lost, 66-63, to St. John's in a nonconference game at Madison Square Garden in New York.

The Bruins (15-12) fell to 2-6 in road games and have only one win against a Division I team outside of Southern California. St. John's improved to 11-16.

OVERVIEW:the game was close throughout as neither team led by more than six points, but every time UCLA tied or took the lead, St. John's made a run. The Red Storm took the lead for good on an alley-oop dunk by Sir'Dominic Pointer that broke a 45-45 tie midway through the second half.

The Bruins were within a point twice over the rest of the half and were within two with 45 seconds to play, but Phil Greene tipped in a missed 3-point shot by Pointer for a 66-62 St. John's lead with six seconds to play.

The Red Storm inexplicably fouled on the next possession, giving the Bruins some hope and Jerime Anderson made one of two free throws to cut the lead to 66-63. St. John's forward Moe Harkless grabbed the rebound on Anderson's miss and was immediately fouled. He missed the front end of a one-and-one, but David Wear's three-quarter court shot at the final buzzer missed.

D'Angelo Harrison had 22 points, eight rebounds and four assists to lead St. John's.

TURNING POINT: With St. John's holding a 54-53 lead and 8:00 left to play, Pointer threw down a dunk and after a quick UCLA miss, Harkless grabbed a rebound and made a nice pass inside to Greene for an easy layup and a 58-53 lead with 7:35 to play.

UCLA called a timeout to stop the momentum, but committed turnovers on it's next two possessions and never really recovered. The Bruins made only two of their final 14 shots form the field as they seemed to run out of gas playing against the quicker, more athletic Red Storm.

UCLA STAR OF THE GAME: Forward Travis Wear had a double-double for the second consecutive game with 11 points and 13 rebounds. He kept the Bruins close down the stretch with six points in the final 3:17, including two on offensive rebound putbacks.

Guard Tyler Lamb also had a good game with a team-best 18 points with six rebounds and four assists, but he also had eight turnovers, twice stepping out of bounds with the ball and other times trying to force passes.

STAT OF THE GAME: St. John's had 19 offensive rebounds and 26 second-chance points, using speed and quickness to continually beat the bigger, slower Bruins to loose balls and long rebounds.

The Bruins had a major size advantage with the Wear twins and Joshua Smith each at 6-10 and the Red Storm featuring only one player at 6-8, but the Bruins still only held a 40-39 edge in total rebounds and simply could not box out the smaller players on St. John's misses.

St. John's shot only 36.9 percent from the field, but the Red Storm, a 67.8-percent free throw shooting team for the season, made 14 of 16 free throws.

WHAT IT MEANS: Not much. The nonconference game wasn't going to make or break UCLA's season, but the continued inability to pull out close games on the road could prove troublesome as the Bruins head on a two-game Pac-12 trip to Arizona State and Arizona next week.

The Bruins are hoping to secure one of the valuable top-four seeds in the Pac-12 tournament, but currently sit in sixth place and can ill afford another conference loss if they want to having to win four games in four days to earn an NCAA tournament berth.
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