Showing posts with label Dwight Hardy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Dwight Hardy. Show all posts

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Hardy Has 34 as Red Storm Blasts Wildcats

College Hoops Player of the Day for Saturday, February 26, 2011

With an 81-68 win at Villanova, the St. John's Red Storm has taken sole possession of third place in the Big East at 11-5. Ahead of them are Notre Dame (12-4) and Pitt (13-2), both teams the Red Storm have already beaten.

With the continued exceptional play of senior guard Dwight Hardy, who led all scorers with 34 points - there's no telling where this Steve Lavin-coached team is headed, except to the NCAA tournament for the first time in ten years. St. John's has just two games left on their regular season schedule - at Seton Hall and home vs. South Florida - before the Big East tournament, for which they will receive a double bye should they maintain at least 4th place in the conference.

Hardy's 34 was a career high, topping the 32 he had against UCLA and the 33 points he scored in a win over UConn. He went 9-for-16 from the field, including 5 of 9 three-pointers and nailed 11 of 13 free throws. It was the sixth straight win for the Red Storm and their sixth win over teams ranked in the top 15 or higher.

NOTABLE: In a day full of upsets, none was bigger than Colorado's stunning 91-89 win over Texas, coming back from a 22-point first half deficit. Alec Burks led the way with 33 points, 10 rebounds and four assists.

Elsewhere in the Big 12, unranked Baylor knocked off #21 Texas A&M, 58-51. Likewise, Kansas State dumped #20 Missouri, 80-70.

The biggest story of the day came late in the evening in Blacksburg, Virginia, where the Virginia Tech Hokies upended #1 Duke, 64-60. It was the third time in as many weeks that a team was named the #1 squad on Monday but tasted defeat before the week was over. Ohio State and Kansas suffered the same fate prior to Duke.

In other surprises, UCLA pummeled #10 Arizona - which probably shouldn't have been ranked that high - 71-49 and #23 Kentucky held court at home, defeating #13 Florida, 76-68.

Arizona's loss was their second straight, having lost at USC on Thursday. The Bruins and Wildcats are now tied for the PAC-10 lead at 12-4. In the SEC, despite losing, Florida remains two games ahead of 9-5 Vanderbilt in the SEC East at 11-3. The Gators face Alabama on Tuesday before closing out the regular season at Vanderbilt on Saturday.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

St. John's Downs Marquette 80-68, Dwight Hardy Shines

College Hoops Player of the Day for Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Some of the Big East teams near or at the top of the conference standings may be looking over their shoulders at the surging Red Storm.

St. John's won its fourth straight Big East tilt - this one coming on the road - as they downed Marquette, 80-68, with a strong second half and 28 points from their star, senior guard, Dwight Hardy.

Tied 38-all at the break, the Red Storm pressured Marquette into numerous mistakes and outscored them 42-30 in the second half. St. John's forced 18 turnovers.

Hardy, who played all but one minute of the game, got his game-high 28 points on 7-for-16 shooting, with a pair of threes and 12 of 15 free throws. He also had six rebounds, three assists and five steals.

The Red Storm is now 8-5 after a 4-5 start in Big East play and has positioned itself nicely for an NCAA tournament bid, an honor not bestowed upon the team since 2002. The team hosts #4 Pittsburgh, the current conference leader, on Saturday at Madison Square Garden.

NOTABLE: All five Top 25 teams in action Tuesday night were winners. #2 Ohio State thumped Michigan State, 71-61 sending the Spartans to their 6th loss in their last 8 games. Michigan State has slumped to 6-7 in the Big Ten and 14-11 overall. Other Top 25 winners included North Carolina, Kentucky, Villanova and Missouri.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Red Storm Does It Again, Knocks off UConn at the Garden

College Hoops Player of the Day for Thursday, February 10, 2011

It's a great thing to play your home games at storied Madison Square Garden, especially when you have a coach like Steve Lavin running the show for the St. John's Red Storm. The coach, who came out of semi-retirement this season to coach the Red Storm after departing as UCLA's head coach in 2003, has St. John's scaring the daylights out of every opponent who comes to the Bag Apple.

On Thursday night, it was Connecticut's turn to be taken out to the woodshed for an old-fashioned whipping, the fourth time this season that St. John's has played rude host to a highly-ranked team. Senior guard Dwight Hardy scored a career-high 33 points for St. John's, topping the 32 he put up in his last game, a 66-59 loss at UCLA on Saturday.

Hardy had everything going, hitting 10 of 17 shots, going 5-for-8 from beyond the arc and hitting all eight of his free throws. St. John's blew open a close game with a dominant second half for an 89-72 thumping, outscoring the Huskies by 13 points in the second half.

Senior swingman, DJ Kennedy, chipped in with 20 points and 11 boards for his second double-double of the season. In recent weeks, St. John's has taken the measure of Georgetown, Notre Dame and Duke, all wins at the Garden, and are creeping up the Big East standings. At 6-5, they are now in a five-way tie with UConn, Marquette, Cincinnati and West Virginia and have seven games remaining before the Big East Tournament, which will be played on their home court.

With many predicting nine teams to come out of the conference for the Big Dance, don't be surprised if St. John's is one of them.

NOTABLE: Don't count the Michigan State Spartans out just yet. After losing five of their last six and dropping out of the Top 25, coach Tom Izzo's team regrouped at home for a 75-57 pounding of Penn State, getting a triple-double out of junior forward Dramon Green, who scored 15 points, grabbed 14 board and dished 10 assists. The Spartans recovered to 6-6 in the conference, but face a tough test at #1 Ohio State on Tuesday of next week.

It will be interesting to watch how the Spartans fare in the final three weeks of the Big Ten regular season. A permanent feature of the NCAA tournament, Michigan State is currently in bubble-land and needs to finish the season at least with a .500 record and put up a good show in the conference tournament to be considered viable for a taste of March Madness.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Oh, Those Johnnies! Hardy Gets 26 as St. John's Humbles Duke

College Hoops Player of the Day for Sunday, January 30, 2011

Following the spate of wins by unranked teams over those in the Top 25 (we're not calling them "upsets" anymore), Coach K and his Duke Blue Devils should have seen their annual trek to Madison Square Garden as more than a jaunty visit to the Big Apple for a win and some shopping.

St. John's Red Storm was ready and waiting for the #3 Blue Devils and came out with incredible energy and ran past Duke defenders like they weren't even there. In the first half - totally under the control of the Johnnies - they raced to a 46-25 lead to essentially put the contest to rest. Duke didn't help its cause by missing its first ten three-point attempts and hitting just one three in the first half. Meanwhile, St. John's was scoring on dunks, layups and short jumpers.

Duke tried to rally in the second half, to little avail, as the Red Storm just kept shooting and hitting, going 32-of-55 for the game (58%). They only shot five three-pointers, making three of them. when the buzzer sounded at the end of 40 minutes of frenetic St. John's styling, Duke had not only been vanquished, but humiliated, 93-78, the highest point total for the season for St. John's and the most - by a whopping 14 points - that Duke had given up all season.

Senior guard Dwight Hardy led the scoring party with 26 points, going 9-for-13 from the field with a pair of treys and 6-for-6 from the line. Fellow senior Mark Brownlee added 20 points and 9 rebounds. Seven st. John's players scored, five of them were in double figures.

Duke's Nolan Smith led all scorers with 32 points - one off his season's high. He and Kyle Singler (20 points) were the only Blue Devils in double figures.

The loss was just the second of the season for Duke (19-2) while St. John's improved to 12-8, ending a string of three straight losses and five in their last six. The win concluded a run of eight straight games in which the Red Storm faced a ranked opponent. They went 3-5 over that stretch, but the schedule doesn't get much easier. The Johnnies face Rutgers on Wednesday, then fly out to UCLA for a Saturday game before returning to New York to host #5 Connecticut.