With Sunday's 63-56 win over St. Francis, St. John's reached the 1,800 wins mark in program history. The Johnnies are the ninth program in Division I history to reach this mark, and the second program this season. Notre Dame reached 1,800 wins earlier this year. Sunday was also Chris Mullin's first game in Madison Square Garden as a coach for the Red Storm, in a return to the tournament where he made his debut as a player for St. John's in the 1981 Holiday Festival, so today was a fitting return for all involved.
While the Johnnies had moments of struggle against St. Francis, they played slightly better as time passed, showing signs of encouragement in their play. Their leading scorer for the game was Durand Johnson, who finished the day with a game leading 19 points on 7-of-12 shooting and 3-of-4 from the foul line, he also recorded six rebounds. While Johnson was effective with the shot, the best all-around performance was at the hands of Yankuba Sima who had a double-double day of 17 points and 10 rebounds, as he was too much to handle at times for the Terriers under and around the basket.
Christian Jones had a productive game with 13 points and Federico Mussini. while not having the scoring touch he had in previous games. still got 6 assists. As a team, the Red Storm shot 41.8% from all areas of the floor, 25.0% from beyond the three point line, and 87.5% from the foul line.
The Terriers had a strong showing early on in the game but were rather up-and-down in their play over the course of the remainder of the game. They did come close to pulling off the upset towards the end of the second half, but did not have enough to follow through. Their leading scorers on the day were Yunus Hopkinson and Antonio Jenifer both with 10 points. Andy Fall tied Sima's mark in rebounds with 10. As a team, St. Francis shot 33.9% from all areas of the floor, 28.6% from beyond the three point line, and 61.5% from the foul line.
While today's win was historic for St. John's, it was also a win that showed progress for this team. They were streaky at times over the course of the game, but in the end were able to walk away with a win. They still have ways to go as a team, but for the time being can take comfort in the fact that they have yet to drop a game at home so far this season.