St. John's storms past Arizona State to Shootout title

Jeremy Peters
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State Vs. Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State Vs. Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Southern Utah won 64 to 61 over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ryan Brimley hits a 3 pointer with 6 seconds left to put Southern Utah up 64 to 61 and seal the win over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State Vs. Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State Vs. Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Southern Utah won 64 to 61 over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Vs. Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Vs. Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Vs. Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Southern Utah won 64 to 61 over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Burrrell of St. Johns wears the net after defeating Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Arizona State coach Herb Sendek tells his player to keep his composure in the second half after a whistle. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Burrrell and Justin Brownlee clown around with the first place gold pan after defeating Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Ryan Brimley hits a 3 pointer with 6 seconds left to put Southern Utah up 64 to 61 and seal the win over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Arizona State's Ty Abbott, left, and St. John's Malik Boothe dive toward the ball in the second half. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Vs. Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Brownlee shoots over Arizona State's Rihards Kuksiks. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
DJ Kennedy of St. John's puts up a shot. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Malik Booth of St. John's, center, races upcourt as Arizona State's Kyle Cain, left, chases. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Couch Potato Amanda Hays, 5 years old, with her basketball goggles during the Drake Vs. Weber State game in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. Weber State won 82 to 81.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Malik Stith of St. John's puts up a shot in the first half as Arizona State's Rihards Kuksiks watches. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Jordan Bachynski of Arizona State dunks the ball Vs. St. Johns in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Brownlee of St. John's looks to score as Arizona State's Ty Abbott, left, and Kyle Cain defend. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Burrell of St. John's runs ahead of his to accept the championship gold pan from UAA athletic director Steve Cobb. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Paris Horne of St. John's dunks in the second half. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Malik Stith and Dwight Hardy celebrate the win for St. John's. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Paris Horne drives along the baseline on Arizona State's Rihards Kuksiks. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard charges Seth VanDeest of Drake in the closing seconds of the game. Just after the play Aaron Hawley of Drake slammed the ball down drawing a technical foul. Lillard made the two free throws to ice the game in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. Weber State won 82 to 81.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Justin Burrell and Justin Brownlee, right, hold the championship gold pan after the win. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
St. Johns defeated Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Dwayne Polee II and coach Steve Lavin of St. Johns enjoy the victory after defeating Arizona State in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Drake's Ryan Wedel, right, and Weber State's Damian Lillard try to scoop up the ball. Weber State defeated Drake to claim third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Rusty Osborne shouts direction as they take on Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Arizona State's Jordan Bachynski slams one in front of St. John's Malik Stith, Sean Evans and Dwayne Polee. St. John's faced Arizona State in the championship game of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Aaron Hawley of Drake slams the ball down drawing a technical foul. Weber State's Damian Lillard made the two free throws to ice the game in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. Weber State won 82 to 81.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA fans congratulate their victorious team as the head to the locker room. UAA defeated Ball State, 62-44, on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
St. John's bench celebrates their second half run on the way to winning the Shootout title. St. John's beat Arizona State to become the 2010 Great Alaska Shootout champions on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Drew Robinson got knocked down and almost stepped on by Randy Davis of Ball State but drew a charging foul from Davis on the play in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
The UAA bench celebrates its team's second-half performance. From left are Phillip Hearn, Mario Gill, Liam Gibcus and Kyle Fossman. UAA defeated Ball State, 62-44, on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Travis Thompson drives past Ball State's Randy Davis in the second half. UAA defeated Ball State, 62-44, on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Brandon Walker drives to the hoop in the second half. UAA defeated Ball State, 62-44, on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ty Abbott of Arizona State knocks over Justin Burrell of St. Johns as he drives to the basket in the championship game of the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Drake's Rayvonte Rice finishes a breakaway with a slam in the first half. Drake played Weber State to decide third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Ryan Brimley falls to the floor after hitting a 3 pointer with 6 seconds left to put Southern Utah up 64 to 61 and seal the win over Houston Baptist in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard runs into Drake's Aaron Hawley at midcourt. Drake played Weber State to decide third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Brandon Walker puts a shot up as Ball State's Jauwan Scaife defends. UAA faced Ball State in on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Drake's Aaron Hawley is helped up by teammates after the close of the contest. Hawley's technical foul proved costly to the Bulldogs' ability to hold the lead in the closing seconds. Weber State defeated Drake to claim third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Steve White tries to hold on to the ball in a second-half scrum. UAA defeated Ball State, 62-44, on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard drives through Rayvonte Rice and Ryan Wedel of Drake to score in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. Weber State won 82 to 81.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Drake's Aaron Hawley puts up a shot as Weber State's Trevor Morris tries to draw a charging call. Weber State's Darin Mahoney is at left. Weber State defeated Drake to claim third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA Seawolves fans cheer a basket as the take on Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA head coach Rusty Osborne argues a call late in the first half. UAA faced Ball State in on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard hits the floor as his shot sinks through the hoop against Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Brandon Walker goes for the basket against Jarrod Jones of Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. UAA won 62 to 44.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard and Scott Bamforth raise the fists in victory as Aaron Hawley of Drake lies on the floor after Drake missed their last shot. Hawley slammed the ball down drawing a technical foul. Lillard made the two free throws to ice the game in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. Weber State won 82 to 81.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Drake's bench shows disbelief over a second-half call. Weber State defeated Drake to claim third place in the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Casey Robinson left, tries to strip Ball State's Jarrod Jones. UAA's Matt Peterson is in back. UAA faced Ball State in on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
UAA fans and players celebrate a score against Ball State in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. UAA won 62 to 44.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Brandon Walker drives inside in front of Ball State's Malik Perry. UAA faced Ball State in on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News
Pierre Sneed of Ball State and Brandon Walker and Steve White of UAA end up in pile after a loose ball scramble in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. UAA won 62 to 44.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Malik Perry of Ball State ends up on the floor against UAA in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. UAA won 62 to 44.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Weber State's Damian Lillard his smothered by Seth VanDeest and Frank Wiseler of Drake in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
Jauwan Scaife of Ball State goes up for a shot with UAA's Steve White on defense in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena. UAA won 62 to 44.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Drew Robinson and Jauwan Scalfe of Ball State chase down a loose ball in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Drew Robinson and Jauwan Scalfe of Ball State chase down a loose ball in the men's 2010 Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday November 27, 2010 at the Sullivan Arena.
BOB HALLINEN / Anchorage Daily News
UAA's Brandon Walker fights around a pick in the first half. UAA faced Ball State in on the final day of the Great Alaska Shootout on Saturday, November 27, 2010.
Marc Lester / Anchorage Daily News

St. John's head coach Steve Lavin said he couldn't be happier to be back coaching after his seven-year stint as a basketball broadcaster with ESPN.

His goal of rebuilding eight-time Big East champions St. John's back to prominence after nearly a decade of declining play, gained some momentum Saturday night with a 67-58 win over Arizona State in the championship game at the Carrs/Safeway Great Alaska Shootout in Sullivan Arena.

"This is just another baby step in that climb up the Big East ladder," said Lavin.

Lavin said he's always looking for ways to win over the fans in Queens, New York. The Shootout provided an opportunity to learn about his players, his coaches and, as it turned out, pick up some nice hardware in the process.

The game actually began in favor of Arizona State with senior guard Ty Abbott hitting two quick 3-pointers and senior Rihards Kuksiks hitting another to build a 9-2 lead, a lead they would add to until halftime.

The Red Storm overcame a 10-point halftime deficit and made nine of their ten steals in second half to fuel a late 24-4 run.

"We went small," said Most Outstanding Player of the Tournament Justin Brownlee. "We had a lot of foot speed on the court."

Two of the biggest steals came from one of the Red Storm's smallest players, 5-foot-11 sophomore Malik Stith. He made two consecutive steals, converting each into two points and giving St. John's a 53-51 lead, their first since they led 2-0.

About a minute later, Stith fired a desperate 3-pointer as the shot-clock buzzer sounded, and it banked in off the glass to make it 58-53. The sequence was part of a whirlwind of hustle and athleticism that left the Sun Devils virtually paralyzed.

"The guys just took the ball right away from us," said Arizona State head coach Herb Sendek. "We needed to make better decisions in some cases."

Sendek said his team had never seen such defensive pressure and it rattled the Sun Devils.

Behind Abbotts six 3-pointers and team-leading 22 points, Arizona State looked in control of the game up until that final seven minutes.

The Sun Devils were also able to use 7-2 freshman Jordan Bachynski for 19 minutes, his biggest workload of the tournament, to help break up the St. John's zone on occasion. Bachynski shot 3 for 4 and gathered four rebounds.

In the end, the Red Storm got to celebrate.

Lavin, who was the head coach at UCLA for seven years before moving to ESPN, said St. John's is a great fit for him, one he couldn't pass up.

"I missed the college campuses," he said. "I missed mentoring on a daily basis."

ST. JOHN'S (67) -- Polee 1-2 1-2 3, Kennedy 1-3 0-0 2, Brownlee 7-13 5-8 20, Boothe 1-2 2-4 4, Hardy 4-14 3-3 14, Evans 0-0 0-0 0, Horne 4-7 3-6 11, Burrell 1-1 1-2 3, Stith 4-10 1-2 10. Totals 23-52 16-27 67.

ARIZONA STATE (58) -- Cain 2-4 0-0 4, Kuksiks 2-3 2-2 8, Abbott 8-15 0-0 22, McMillan 1-5 2-2 5, Lockett 4-9 2-2 10, Felix 0-0 2-2 2, Hawkins 0-0 0-0 0, Dunson 0-0 0-0 0, Bachynski 3-4 1-2 7, Creekmur 0-3 0-0 0, King 0-3 0-2 0, Pateev 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 20-46 9-12 58.

St. John's 20 47 -- 67 Arizona State 30 28 -- 58

3-point goals -- SJU 5-18 (Polee 0-1, Kennedy 0-1, Brownlee 1-2, Hardy 3-9, Horne 0-1, Stith 1-4), ASU 9-25 (Kuksiks 2-3, Abbott 6-12, McMillan 1-4, Lockett 0-2, Creekmur 0-3, King 0-1). Total fouls -- SJU 16, ASU 25. Fouled out -- Cain. Rebounds -- SJU 29 (Kennedy 4, Brownlee 4), ASU 30 (Lockett 7). Turnovers -- SJU 8, ASU 17 (Kuksiks 3). Assists -- SJU 13 (Boothe 5), ASU 16 (McMillan 7). Steals -- SJU 10 (Stith 4), ASU 2. Blocks -- SJU 4, ASU 1. Officials -- Lehigh, Corson, Casas.

Carrs/safeway Great Alaska Shootout All-Tournament Team

Damian Lillard, Weber State

Matt Massey, Southern Utah

Taylor Rohde, UAA

Jarrod Jones, Ball State

Rayvonte Rice, Drake

Casey Robinson, UAA

Jamelle McMillan, Arizona State

Dwight Hardy, St. John's

D.J. Kennedy, St. John's

Trent Lockett, Arizona State

Most Outstanding Player

Justin Brownlee, St. John's


By JEREMY PETERS
jpeters@adn.com