NEWARK, N.J. (AP) — After losing their first three Big East Conference games, Shaheen Holloway put a must-win label on Seton Hall's matchup with St. John's. His players didn't let down.
The same can't be said for Red Storm coach Mike Anderson.
Al-Amir Dawes scored 22 points to match his career high and Seton Hall rallied from an early 10-point deficit to beat St. John's 88-66 on Saturday.
“We came together,” said Dawes, who transferred from Clemson. “I was like: ‘Hey, man, we got to make our stretch. This is where good teams make their stretch.' So we just emphasize that. And that’s what led us to work hard."
Kadary Richmond added 19 points and Tyrese Samuel had 12 of his 16 in a a game-breaking 34-10 run to help Seton Hall (7-7, 1-3 Big East) avoid its first 0-4 start in the conference since 2009-2010.
Holloway said his team responded after getting down early and was outstanding in the second half, hitting 18 of 29 shots, or 62.1%.
“We've just got to understand, we got to play like that all the time," said Holloway, whose had his ups and downs since leaving Saint Peter's after a Cinderella NCAA run to return to his alma mater this year. “We've got to play like that all the time, like our backs are against the wall, every game in this league.”
Dre Davis added 14 points off the bench for the Pirates, who shot 54.1% from the field despite opening the game 2 of 10.
“Sky’s the limit for this team," said Samuel, who matched his season high. "We’re just as good as any of the teams I’ve played on at Seton Hall. Once we lock in and find that real click, it’s going to be a great story for us and Seton Hall.”
The Pirates trailed by 10 near the halfway point of the first half. They were down 29-20 with 6:57 remaining before closing the half with a 22-8 run and opening the second with a 12-2 spurt.
Joel Soriano had 23 points and 11 rebounds in posting his 13th double-double in 15 games for St. John's. David Jones added 12 points and Andre Cubelo had 10 as the Red Storm (11-4, 1-3) lost their third straight game.
Anderson said his team started well but got away from the game plan and made way too many mistakes. When Seton Hall was on its run, he said his players shot too quickly, failed to get to loose balls, missed layups and didn't play well enough on defense.
“We got to be tougher, that’s the bottom line,” Anderson said. “I mean we can sit here and go through all that if you want with all of the questions. We've got to be a lot more tougher.”
Seton Hall, which was shooting roughly 25% from long range in Big East games, was 7 of 19 against St. John's with Dawes making 5 of 10. He had seven in his first three conference games. The Red Storm were 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
Dawes also scored 22 against Boston College in an ACC game in 2020.
St. John's: Plays host to No. 22 Xavier on Tuesday.
Seton Hall: At Creighton on Tuesday.
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