The St. John’s Red Storm are in the win column again.
For the third time in a row, the Johnnies were in celebration mode on Tuesday night, as they defeated the Saint Peter’s Peacocks, 79-69. The win pushes them up to 7-2 in the early goings of Mike Anderson’s tenure in Queens, and puts them in a very comfy spot heading into the weekend.
The Johnnies never trailed in this game and spent just the first 65 seconds of the game tied up at zero. A 3-pointer by Julian Champagnie got things going for the Red Storm, and itw as off to the races from there. They raced out to a lead as large as 22 in the first half, this after they went on an 8-0 run from the 11:13 mark down to the 8:39 mark. Runs were the name of the game in the first half, as they had that 8-0 run, which was preceded by a 12-0 run from the 16:08 mark to the 13:06 mark.
The Red Storm built up a 14-point advantage heading into the break. Afterwards, they got that lead up to 20 points by the 17:16 mark and then 22 by the 12:21 mark. The lead swelled all the way up to 25 points at the 8:10 mark fo the second half, the largest lead of the game for the Red Storm. Saint Peter’s cut it to single digits with 1:40 to go, and gave them a scare by cutting it to six points with 1:05 to go. However, LJ Figueroa kept them at bay with four made free throws down the stretch to net the 10-point win.
Speaking of Figueroa, he was arguably the best player on the floor for St. John’s in this game. He led in points with 19, and shot a perfect 5-for-5 at the FT line. He also went 6-for-11 from the field, including a 2-for-4 mark on 3-pointers. Mustapha Heron trailed him in points with 17, and got there on a 5-for-13 performance from the field and went 4-for-5 on free throws. Champagnie was the third player to get into double figures, as he scored 14 points on 13 shots, six of them good for makes. David Caraher came the closest to joining them in double figures among the rest, as he scored eight points in the win.
The victory for St. John’s is certainly a confidence booster, and one that will hopefully keep them intact heading into the weekend. They’ll be hosting the West Virginia Mountaineers at Madison Square Garden, the first game they’ve played at MSG all season. WVU is undefeated so far, with wins over the Akron Zips, Pittsburgh Panthers, Northern Iowa Panthers, Wichita State Shockers and Rhode Island Rams, all five of them being Top 100 teams on KenPom. This will be a stingy, stingy affair and one that of course brings together a former Big East team against a current one.