St. John's holds No. 23 Seton Hall scoreless for 9 minutes, pulls upset

NEW YORK -- Basketball is a game of runs and Joe Tartamella was happy his team got the final one.

St. John's scored 16 of the game's final 18 points, holding No. 23 Seton Hall without a point for nearly the final 9 1/2 minutes to come away with a 59-50 win on Friday night.

"The swings of the game are crazy," Tartamella said. "Shows the ability we have defensively to make plays. That's been something we pride ourselves on. Something we preach in our program. We were good, we were really good. That's why we see the final score and holding them to 50. A team that's scoring 72 is very good for our kids to be able to do."

Danaejah Grant scored 17 points, Amber Thompson added 12 points and 20 rebounds for the Red Storm (12-1, 3-0 Big East).

Trailing 48-43 with 9:28 left in the game, the Red Storm (12-1, 3-0 Big East) held the Pirates without a point for the next 9-plus minutes. After scoring six quick points to take a 49-48 lead on Thompson's putback with 7:38 left, St. John's went cold too.

Neither team had a point until Aliyyah Handford banked in a shot with 2:35 left. Aaliyah Lewis followed with a steal and layup to make it 53-48 with 2 minutes left.

St. John's led 57-49 before Jordan Moseley hit two free throws with 15 seconds left -- the Pirates' only points in the final 9:28.

"Hopefully this will teach us a good lesson," Seton Hall coach Tony Bozzella said. "Up 48-43 they didn't stop playing and when a little adversity hit they punched us. Against Georgia we were up and found a way, got through the adversity. Not today, that's the difference."

Tabatha Richardson-Smith scored 16 points to lead the Pirates (13-2, 2-1), who saw their 12-game winning streak end.

Thompson finished four rebounds short of the school record for a game. She did however break the all-time rebounding mark for her career. She now has 875 rebounds.

Seton Hall trailed 31-26 at the half before scoring the first nine points to take its first lead of the game. Richardson-Smith had five points during the spurt.

Grant's layup ended the run and a 12 1/2 minute drought without a field goal for the Red Storm that spanned the half.

Seton Hall led 48-43 with 9:28 left before going cold from the field.

St. John's got off to a quick start scoring eight of the first 10 points. Seton Hall rallied within 21-15 on Ka-Deidre Simmons' basket with 10:45 left in the half, the Red Storm then went on a 9-4 burst that included a 3-pointer by Aaliyah Lewis with 9:38 left.

That would be the Red Storm's last basket of the half. Seton Hall closed the first 20 minutes with a 7-1 run to come within 31-26 at the break.


Seton Hall: The Pirates last won 12 straight games in the 1980-81 season. ... Seton Hall is ranked for the first time since Jan. 31, 1995.

St. John's: The Red Storm lead the all-time series 42-26. ... St. John's held a moment of silence before the game for former governor Mario Cuomo, who graduated from the school, and New York police officers Wenjian Liu and Rafael Ramos who were shot to death as they sat in their patrol car in daylight. ... Thompson set new school record for rebounding, passing Dianne Pugh's mark of 868 set from 1978-84.


Seton Hall: hosts Xavier on Jan. 9

St. John's: hosts No. 2 UConn in the Maggie Dixon Classic on Sunday at Madison Square Garden


"It means a lot to me, but means more to my mother," Thompson said of her rebounding record. "That was one of my goals come into the year, now I'll keep going so nobody breaks it."