Tonight's game between the Red Storm of St. John's and the Golden Gophers of Minnesota was a tale of two halves.
In the first half, Minnesota began by capitalizing off the mistakes that the Red Storm's guards were making early on. In particular, the Gophers were strong from the 3-point line, shooting 6-11, which by comparison to St. John's dismal 0-9, looked like an extraordinary contrast.
The second half though would be a much different affair as the Johnnies finally woke up and began playing the style of ball that they demonstrated in their first three games. Using their depth in the backcourt to essentially squeeze chances out of Minnesota, they would close out the final half of regulated play with a 70-61 victory over Minnesota.
The biggest turnover for St. John's in this game was the play of Rysheed Jordan who came alive in the second half of play. In all Jordan would finish with 18 points, eight rebounds and four steals. The only downside to Jordan's play tonight were the seven turnovers that he committed.
Jordan wasn't the only bright star either tonight, though his play was tremendous. Once again both Chris Obekpa and D'Angelo Harrison played crucial roles in tonight's victory as well. Obekpa's strong suit tonight was his play underneath the basket for the Johnnies, drawing pressure away and forcing Minnesota to compact their play within the perimeter at times. He would finish the night with 10 points, four blocks, two steals, and eight rebounds. In all, a well-rounded game for Obekpa, who so far this season has been crucial to the success of the team.
Harrison had another solid game as he finished with 19 points, as well as five steals and eight rebounds. In all the downfall of the Golden Gophers was the fact that St. John's was able to trap and get to the ball off transition. While they did struggle to shoot the three ball tonight, the Johnnies made up for it with pressure and interior play to bring them to the foul line.
Their next game is another serious test, this time around the Johnnies will have a date with Kevin Pangos and Gonzaga on Friday.