Despite St. John's walking away with the victory by a score of 66-53 in tonight's match up against the Blackbirds of LIU, the Johnnies at times did not play there most convincing game.
After just five minutes into tonight's game, Steve Lavin needed to call a time out to get his guys in sync as the Johnnies started off the game in a lethargic style as LIU was matching shot for shot early on and creating chances underneath the basket. For Lavin the biggest thing was to get the defense to even out, especially as LIU was looking to apply pressure away from the backcourt and more towards center Chris Obekpa. After the time out, though the team began to wake up and managed to keep the pressure off from LIU, who were relying on Gerrell Martin and Nura Zanna for offense tonight. Though there were also seeing contributions off rotations from the Icelandic duo of Elvar Fridriksson and Martin Hermannsson. Hermannsson in particular would be crucial in generating offensive chances for the Blackbirds as he had 5 assists on the night.
What honestly changed the game for the Johnnies tonight, was the play of Sir'Dominic Pointer who finished the night with 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 assists. His most important asset though tonight, were two steals that came towards the end of the first half and creating both chances defensively and offensively on the ball.
He was the leading scorer in tonight's game, but once again it was all guards on guard tonight for St. John's as Pointer was followed up by the play of Rysheed Jordan who had 15 points and D'Angelo Harrison with 14 points. On the boards, Chris Obekpa picked up 10 rebounds and in turn quickly moved the ball up court.
Speaking of Obekpa, Carmine Carcieri had this to say, per Steve Lavin.
Lavin says Chris Obekpa is hurt. Probably the ankle.— Carmine Carcieri (@CESPN1) November 20, 2014
For the Johnnies' sake, that injury is minor for an already thin frontcourt.
While the team was slow in the five minutes of the game, the thirty-five minutes proved that while LIU hung around, St. John's can manage to hold off the pressure.
Their next game in November 26 against Minnesota.