Anthony Lamb of the Vermont Catamounts doesn’t often get opportunities to showcase his strengths. The Preseason All-America East Team selection is one of the best mid-major players in America, and St. John’s found out exactly why on Saturday.
The Johnnies fell 70-68 to the Catamounts, thanks in large part to Lamb’s game-winning bucket with just a few seconds remaining in the game. Lamb’s bucket gave him 23 points, the most he’s scored this season and the most he’s scored since the America East Tournament final against the UMBC Retrievers a year ago when he dropped 28.
To St. John’s’ credit, they made this one very interesting down the stretch. Vermont held a led as large as 10 with 5:59 to play. St. John’s was able to cut that down and tie the game up with 19 seconds remaining. Lamb’s go-ahead bucket soon followed to doom them, but there was definite fight there. Moral victories aren’t always the best things to emphasize here, but they were still able to scratch and claw their way back in the game and put UVM on the ropes as a result.
Three players from the Johnnies were able to get into double figures in Saturday’s loss. Mustapha Heron led with 14 points but got most of his points at the free throw line. He went 7-for-11 there, which bested his ineffective mark of 4-for-13 from the field. LJ Figueroa matched his 14 points and went a similarly inefficient 7-for-20 from the field. Rasheem Dunn scored 13 points, but much like his peers, was inefficient from the field, as he shot 5-for-18.
If you’re reading through all that, you can probably understand what plagued the Red Storm. Poor shooting. St. John’s shot 34.5 percent from the floor, 26.3 percent from beyond the 3-point arc and just 65.7 percent on their 35 free throw attempts. Given the discrepancy in attempts, 35-12, the last one may be the worst mark of all.
Julian Champagnie nearly joined Heron, Figueroa and Dunn in double figures, as he finished with nine points on the night. Josh Roberts and Marcellus Earlington each finished with eight points, and rounding things out was David Caraher who had two.
Lamb wasn’t the only Catamount to get into double figures. Stef Smith and Everett Duncan each scored 17 points and did so on a combined mark of 13-for-27 from the floor. Ryan Davis picked up eight points, and Bailey Patella and Robin Duncan finished up with three and two points.
St. John’s will look to get back in the win column on Wednesday when they face the Columbia Lions in Queens.