Nov. 25, 2010
ANCHORAGE, Alaska -
Playing at 2 a.m. Eastern time for the second time in its first three games and having already traveled 9,010 miles by air to begin the 2010-11 season doesn't seem to have drummed up enough intrigue for the Red Storm men's basketball team.
Adding to the dramatic, unique start to the year, the St. John's men's basketball team was forced into overtime in its opening game of the 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout, eventually rallying in the extra session to post a 78-73 victory. Justin Brownlee poured in a career-best 20 points and forced the extra session with a game-tying bucket with 33 seconds in regulation. The Red Storm fired at a season-best 50.9 percent (28-for-55) from the field, helping head coach Steve Lavin improve to 13-4 all-time in overtime contests.
St. John's (2-1) had to erase a 62-56 deficit with 2:15 left in regulation after surrendering a 13-point second-half lead. The Red Storm also got a big lift from senior wing D.J. Kennedy, who made all three of his 3-pointers and finished with 15 points and three assists.
Jesse Berry led Ball State (2-2) with 18 points, while Jarrod Jones chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds, and Randy Davis had 14 points and nine assists.
In a game that ended at 12:15 a.m. local time, the Red Storm also received a huge effort from Dwight Hardy, who had 14 points and dished five assists without a turnover. Hardy was 5-for-6 from the charity stripe in overtime and was 9-for-12 from the line in the contest. Paris Horne came off the bench to score 11, including five points in the extra session, as St. John's had four players in double-figures for the second-straight game.
After St. John's built a 47-34 lead with 14:24 remaining in regulation, the Cardinals went on a 22-4 tear over the next 10 minutes to take a 62-56 lead. Kennedy, however, sliced the deficit in half with a three-pointer at the 2-minute mark.
Ball State's Pierre Sneed split a pair of free throws to make it 63-59, but the Cardinals would not score for the remaining 97 seconds of regulation. Brownlee converted an offensive rebound with 1:14 on the clock and powered to the hoop for a soft layup to tie it 63-63 with 33 seconds showing.
Ball State got the last shot of regulation, but an off-balance jumper from Davis came up short of the rim.
Brownlee and Horne began the overtime with back-to-back baskets to give St. John's the lead for good before Horne added a fastbreak layup with 56 seconds left made to give the Red Storm a 72-65 advantage.
The Red Storm will face Drake in Friday's semifinals at 9:30 p.m. E.S.T. (5:30 p.m. A.S.T.) for a spot in Saturday's championship.