Monday, February 25, 2013

St. John's vs. Pittsburgh: A Photo Gallery

Yesterday provided us with another split doubleheader on the schedule, the first one of those we've had in a while.  Before heading to Hempstead in the evening to see Hofstra pick up their seventh win of the season in a 70-59 victory over Old Dominion, we were on hand for a Madison Square Garden matinee between St. John's and Pittsburgh, an affair in which the Panthers laid waste to St. John's NCAA Tournament hopes in a convincing 63-47 win, holding the Red Storm to their lowest point total of the season.  In that first game, we were fortunate enough to share press row with friend of the website and college basketball Renaissance man Ray Floriani, who was on hand to cover the game before heading off to one of his many other trades, refereeing in New Jersey.  As he usually does whenever we're in the same place at the same time, Ray was gracious enough to compile a photo essay of yesterday's transpirings at the "World's Most Famous Arena" for this site:

NEW YORK CITY – Noon in what is often called “the greatest city in the world.”  There is a game at Madison Square Garden. Even after decades, it never grows old. There is always an excitement around a Garden game.  
          The history, tradition, sights, sounds, and even the aroma of grilled hot dogs. Walking out onto the floor level area and looking up to see the Knick and Ranger banners in regal splendor. And don’t forget the one for Lou Carnesecca.
          Pitt guard Tray Woodall called the Garden, the “Mecca of basketball.” He is not the first, nor will he be the last to pay tribute with these words. Woodall was not just living in the moment of a game high 25 points in his team’s win over St. John’s. A product of prep power St. Anthony’s just across the river, Woodall knew of the significance of playing here even before he donned a Pitt uniform.
          For St. John’s, optimism of playing almost even for a half soon gave way. The final twenty minutes saw Pitt impose its will to post a 63-47 decision. Disappointment for St. John’s faithful. Still, there was the positive of taking in and being a part of, on this Sunday afternoon, the Garden experience.

Outside Madison Square Garden shortly before game time:
The first thing a player, coach, or media member sees when walking through the tunnel onto the Garden floor:
Madison Square Garden takes pride in honoring those who excel in areas beyond the court:
Travon Woodall of Pitt discussing the Panthers' performance:
Ray with Keriee, a Knicks City Dancer who was on the St. John's dance team last season, and was on hand to cheer her former teammates on:
After the St. John's game, Madison Square Garden gets ready for the New York Knicks:

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