St. John’s hit the court Wednesday looking to get their season back on track following their loss to Vermont over the weekend. Waiting in the wings were the Columbia Lions for a midweek inter-borough clash. In the end, the Johnnies made quick work of the Lions and pulled away early for a final score of 82-63.
The Johnnies won thanks in large to double-figure performances from Rasheem Dunn (14 points) Julian Champagnie (14 points) and Mustapha Heron (15 points). In all, it was a pretty well-played game by the Red Storm. They put pressure on the Lions early on, forcing turnovers and pressuring them into bad shots.
For their part, St. John’s forced Columbia to commit 18 turnovers all while only turning the ball over eight times themselve. They also limited Columbia’s second chance opportunities, with the Lions only scoring seven second chance points.
On the other hand, the Red Storm thrived on second chance opportunities, with 15 points in that department. It added onto an expanded scoring ability that also included 38 points off of the bench tonight and 22 points off fast breaks. Needless to say they made the most of all their opportunities Wednesday night.
The final note on defense from St. John’s is that the Red Storm tonight out-rebounded Columbia 48-38 in tonight’s game. Josh Roberts was the leading rebounder for the Red Storm tonight with 11 rebounds.
On the Columbia side of the ball, for this game was the third time this season that the Lions scored 63 points in a losing effort. Still though in a losing effort there were a number of positives to take away in this game for Columbia. Mike Smith as mentioned in the preview to this game provided an excellent scoring touch for the Lions with a 20-point night and was a rebound short of a double-double game. He was join in his efforts with an 11-point game from Jake Killingsworth and Tai Bibbs with a 10-point game.
In terms of percentages, St. John’s tonight shot the ball at a rate of 43 percent from the floor, 47 percent from 3-point range, 68 percent from the foul line. Columbia, on the other hand, tonight shot the ball at a rate of 38 percent from the floor, 33 percent from 3-point range, and 33 percent from the foul line. Though it is worth noting that Columbia only went to the line three times tonight as St. John’s did not foul all that much or found themselves in foul trouble.
The Johnnies now move to 4-1 on the season and next game should be an interesting test to season where the Red Storm truly stand at this point on the season as the Arizona State Sun Devils wait in the wings for a Saturday afternoon game.