The final score showed that he was worried for nothing.
St. John's easily took care of business against San Francisco on Wednesday night, winning by a final of 81-57 behind 18 points from D'Angelo Harrison.
"The hangover from an emotional loss like the one we had against Syracuse can sometimes end up beating you twice...The best remedy to shake off that hangover is to get back on the winning track."
The Red Storm (7-3) did so emphatically, extending their lead to as many as 28 at one point in the second half. They dominated both the offensive and defensive backboard, securing multiple second-chance opportunities for themselves, while denying them for San Francisco. St. John's out-rebounded the Dons 15-6 on the offensive end, and 35-24 overall.
Those statistics were the direct result of the intensity showed by the Red Storm, eager to atone for their close defeat on Sunday, according to Harrison. He said that some of the team's veterans have been on the younger guys to show more passion.
"We came out with a lot of energy tonight," Harrison said. "The older guys have been saying 'Man, we've got to play each game hard. And play each game like (the game against) Syracuse.
It was a big night for Harrison, who made two 3-pointers to equal Willie Shaw's school record of 151.
"St. John's has a lot of history, a lot of great players. It's good to be recognized as one of them, at the very least.
Despite Harrison's game high total, though, this one was about the big men. Collectively, they had their way with the over-matched Dons. JaKarr Sampson scored 14 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Chris Obekpa contributed with a strong all-around performance off the bench. He scored 6 points, pulled down 7 rebounds, and blocked 4 shots.
"We are a bigger team," Obekpa said. "So we take advantage of that. Coach says 'Play above the rim."
Above the rim and below it, San Francisco couldn't compete. The Dons (6-5) were able to neutralize the size advantage for a while with some excellent shooting—they shot 20 for 41 on the night. But their inability to protect the glass, and their carelessness with the basketball, took away any chance they had, They turned the ball over a season-high 21 times.
San Francisco head coach Rex Walters attributed his team's poor performance to the fact that his star senior forward Cole Dickerson spent much of the night in foul trouble. He picked up his second personal with 10:37 still remaining in the first half, but Walters elected to put him back in the game several minutes later. The risk didn't pay off, as Dickerson collected his third at the 3:49 mark.
Walters didn't regret his choice to reinsert Dickerson late in the first half. He felt he needed to stall the Red Storm's momentum.
"It's hard to win a game when your best player plays 15 minutes," Walters said. "He got into foul trouble and I made a calculated risk to play him. We tried to protect him in the zone and he picked up a foul. We talked to our team about having more tact in those types of situations and I don't feel like we did that."
Mark Tollefson scored 14 points for San Francisco. Kruize Pinkins chipped in with 12.