St. John's Cruises Past Virginia, 85-63
Dec. 4, 1999
By JIM O’CONNELL
AP Basketball Writer
NEW YORK – St. John’s coach Mike Jarvis was never worried about ErickBarkley’s shooting slump.
“I don’t want to start with Erick’s shooting because I don’t want him tothink about it,” Jarvis said jokingly after his sophomore guard scored acareer-high 27 points in an 85-63 victory over Virginia on Saturday. “His formwas always good and he just had to keep doing what he was doing. More than halfof his shots seemed to be going down and just came out of the basket. It wasthe little things.”
The lack of those little things saw Barkley miss 25 of his first 27 3-pointattempts this season, a far cry from the 34 percent he shot from beyond the arclast season.
On Saturday, he went 3-for-6 on 3s.
“Coach was right about all those things he was saying,” said Barkley,whose previous career-high was 25 points against Hofstra last season. “When Imissed my first one today I said `Keep shooting.’ Then they went in.”
The Red Storm (4-1) have beaten Virginia in all six meetings between theschools, including 95-68 at Charlottesville last season.
Virginia (4-3) scored the first five points of the second half to get within45-35, but St. John’s answered with a 9-0 run as Reggie Jessie scored five ofthe points for a 54-35 lead with 15:59 to play. Virginia would get no closerthan 17 points the rest of the way.
Jessie had 15 points and 11 rebounds for St. John’s, while Bootsy Thorntonhad 14 points, Anthony Glover 12 and Lavor Postell 11.
“One of our goals coming into the season was to have five players averagein double figures so I’m pleased with the scoring today,” Jarvis said.
Chris Williams led the Cavaliers with 20 points and Travis Watson added 10.
St. John’s pulled away from an 11-7 lead with a 13-3 run that was startedand ended by Glover inside and saw five players score. During the run that madeit 24-10 with 9:35 left, Virginia missed two shots from the field and committedfour turnovers. The Cavaliers finished with 18 turnovers.
“I’m not disappointed with losing because they’re a good team but I amdisappointed with not competing. We even seemed a little afraid,” Virginiacoach Pete Gillen said. “I know we’re better than that but we have to playbetter. Today, a great player had a great game.”
The Red Storm, who came into the game shooting 17.6 percent from 3-pointrange (13-for-74) went 4-for-7 from long range in the first half, mostlyagainst Virginia’s 2-3 zone defense, and built a 45-30 halftime lead.
St. John’s finished 6-of-12 from 3-point range for the game.
It was the first time in five years St. John’s won its first game of theseason at Madison Square Garden, its second home court, where it has compiled a324-204 record since 1931.
Postell, a senior forward, entered the game with 997 points and became the38th player in St. John’s history to top the 1,000 mark.