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Seton Hall halts Red Storm's win streak in Big East opener

Jan 1, 2015 - 5:04 AM Newark, NJ ( - Sterling Gibbs poured in 25 points to lead five Seton Hall players in double figures, as the Pirates opened Big East play with a 78-67 victory over 15th-ranked St. John's on Wednesday at the Prudential Center.

Jaren Sina matched a season high with 14 points and keyed an early second-half run with two of his four 3-pointers in the victory. Gibbs also sank five from beyond the arc, including one with the shot clock winding down late in the contest to help quell a St. John's rally.

Angel Delgado and Brandon Mobley each contributed 13 points for the Pirates (11-2, 1-0 Big East), whose lone losses have come on the road against Georgia and nationally ranked Wichita State. Seton Hall welcomes another ranked squad to the Rock on Saturday when No. 6 Villanova makes the trip up the New Jersey turnpike.

D'Angelo Harrison scored 25 points and Phil Greene IV added 15 for the Red Storm (11-2, 0-1), who had a seven-game winning streak stopped and lost for the first time since a 73-66 setback to Gonzaga in late November.

"We were disappointed with our breakdown in defensive coverages," St. John's head coach Steve Lavin said. "As a result, in this league, in a tough environment, against a well-coached good team, you're going to get a loss."

St. John's whittled a 14-point deficit with 10 minutes remaining to two in just under five minutes. Greene hit a couple of threes to fuel the comeback and a pair of free throws by Harrison after a technical foul against Khadeen Carrington made it a 65-63 game.

The Red Storm could not take full advantage of the technical and didn't score on the ensuing possession, allowing Seton Hall to create some separation. Gibbs fed Delgado for a layup, then connected from beyond the arc with his team scrambling as the shot clock neared zero, giving the Pirates a 70-63 lead.

Harrison followed with a layup for St. John's and the Red Storm had a couple of opportunities to cut the deficit further, but came away empty before Seton Hall sealed the contest with an uncontested layup from Gibbs and six straight free throws to establish a 13-point margin with just over a minute left.

St. John's scored the first five points and opened a 13-7 lead, but Seton Hall answered with six straight to tie it. The Red Storm again opened a six-point margin at 23-17, but the Pirates roared back with six in a row to again forge a tie.

Seton Hall used an 8-0 run at the conclusion of the first half to grab its first lead of the contest. A 3-pointer by Sina gave the Pirates a 37-35 edge and Gibbs drilled another shot from beyond the arc in the closing seconds to send the Hall to the break with a 40-35 advantage.

St. John's was still within four early in the second half, but Seton Hall opened some breathing room with a 13-3 run. Sina hit a pair from beyond the arc during the surge, the second giving the Pirates a 58-44 cushion with just over 10 minutes to play.

Another Sina trey a couple of minutes later stemmed a brief St. John's spurt and gave the Pirates a 61-50 edge.

Game Notes

Carrington scored 11 to round out Seton Hall's double-figure scorers ... The Pirates made 10-of-23 from beyond the arc ... Delgado grabbed 12 rebounds and Mobley corralled 10 ... Seton Hall had 18 assists on 23 made field goals, while St. John's managed only seven assists on 26 made shots ... Sina also scored 14 against Gardner-Webb on Nov. 23 ... St. John's won both meetings with Seton Hall last year by one point.