NEWARK, N.J. -- Some quick thoughts on St. John's 68-67 win over Seton Hall on Thursday at the Prudential Center.
What it means: Just three weeks after being 0-5 in the Big East, St. John's has climbed to the .500 mark.
The Red Storm have now won four in a row and seven of eight, after beating Seton Hall for the second time this season -- both times by a single point.
The Pirates were without two starters, swingman Brian Oliver and power forward Gene Teague (both suspended by coach Kevin Willard), this go-round. And the game was played in front of only a couple hundred people, due to the inclement weather. But it counts just the same in the standings.
St. John's improves to 16-9 overall, 6-6 in the Big East. Seton Hall drops to 13-12 overall, 4-8 in the conference.
The turning point: St. John's led by as many as five points early, 14-9, thanks to six points apiece by Phil Greene IV and Rysheed Jordan. But the rest of the half was awful. Seton Hall led by as many as nine, 38-29, on a Patrik Auda putback with 1:21 remaining, and led 38-33 at the half. The Red Storm, who average 10 turnovers per game, committed 11 before intermission.
St. John's went back in front early in the second half, leading by as many as six. But Seton Hall did not fold, retaking a four-point lead, 67-63, on a Fuquan Edwin three-point play with 3:10 remaining. In the final minute, with the game tied at 67, Edwin missed an open jumper from the top of the key with 27 seconds left. With 2.1 seconds left, Chris Obekpa was fouled underneath the basket after a pass by Jordan. Obekpa made the first free throw and missed the second, rebounded by Seton Hall. After a timeout and with a second left, a full-court baseball pass was intercepted by St. John's. Game over.
Edwin scored a game-high 25 points for Seton Hall.
Number crunch: St. John's shot 53.2 percent from the field (25-for-47) and 83.3 percent from the foul line (15-for-18), but had 19 turnovers and was outrebounded on the offensive glass 12-7. Seton Hall had a 28-8 advantage in points off turnovers, but shot just 61.1 percent from the foul line (11-for-18).
What's next: St. John's hosts Georgetown on Sunday night at Madison Square Garden. Seton Hall has a week off before hosting Georgetown on Thursday night.