Jan. 27, 2016
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NEWARK, N.J. - The Red Storm dropped a 79-60 decision to Seton Hall (14-6, 4-4) Wednesday at the Prudential Center. Isaiah Whitehead scored a game-high 19 points and Angel Delgado posted his ninth double-double, finishing with 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Pirates.
St. John's was led by Christian Jones (Arlington, Texas), who recorded 15 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. Freshman forward Kassoum Yakwe (Bamako, Mali) contributed eight points and a team-high 10 rebounds, while swatting four shots in his fifth-straight start. Yakwe, the BIG EAST blocks leader in conference play, increased his season total to 42 rejections.
"They've given great effort. There's no question about that," said St. John's head coach Chris Mullin. "I was just telling [our team] it's really important how they handle this.
"The good thing is we have [three days] until we play again. It's really important how they handle these next few days."
The Red Storm scored the first five points of the game and led by as many as eight midway through the first half. After Delgado tied the game at 10, St. John's answered with the next eight points to go up 18-10 at the 10:07 mark. Jones scored four of his eight first half points during the spurt and Ron Mvouika (Paris, France) drained his second 3-pointer to fuel the run.
The Hall countered with a 17-4 run to take its first lead of the game with less than five minutes to go in the first half. Whitehead sank his first of four 3-pointers, followed by Desi Rodriguez's layup that put the Pirates out front, 24-22. Seton Hall carried a 34-26 advantage into halftime rallying behind Whitehead, who scored eight of his 10 first half points in the last eight minutes.
The Pirates opened the second half on a 15-3 run and maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. Delgado went to work on the interior scoring six of the first eight points and finishing with 10 in the second half.
"Tonight he was pretty damn good," said Mullin on Delgado. "We went zone to try and keep them from hurting us with dribble penetration. I thought it worked pretty well, but they really crashed the boards."
The Hall scored 44 points in the paint and owned a 56-40 advantage on the glass. St. John's struggled to find a shooting rhythm, finishing with a season-low 29.2 field goal percentage (21-of-72).
Durand Johnson (Baltimore, Md.) finished with nine points, while Red Storm freshman guard Malik Ellison (Voorhees, N.J.) added eight points to go with a career-high six assists in 23 minutes.
Federico Mussini (Reggio Emilia, Italy) posted nine points, four assists and matched a career-best with four steals. Mvouika also had nine points, shooting 3-of-4 from distance in the setback.
St. John's returns to action Sunday hosting No. 6/6 Villanova at Madison Square Garden. FOX will carry the national telecast with tip-off scheduled for noon at "The World's Most Famous Arena."