College basketball back is and with that so are the St. John’s Red Storm who kicked off their 2021-22 campaign tonight with a home game against Mississippi Valley State.
It was in a roundabout potentially spoiling this recap quick and easy night for the Red Storm as they took control of the game early on and just kept building on their lead. By halftime with the score 59-18 in favor of the Red Storm, one could glean that this game was in fact going to go St. John’s way and the second half would be a case of either seeing the game out. In the end, it was a final score of 117 to 61 in favor of St. John’s.
Tonight felt like a case of everything and everyone playing to the same tune. The biggest impression, or at least what stood out the most, was the fact that the newcomers to the roster quickly looked at home on Mike Anderson’s team. A definite, promising sign of what is to come and something that will only get better with each passing game.
Some of the highlights for the newcomers were Joel Soriano getting a double-double on his first night as a Johnnie with an 11-point, 13-rebound game. Montez Mathis, the transfer from Rutgers posted an 11 point game on 4-of-5 shooting and 2-of-2 from the foul line. Rounding out this newcomer stat line was Tareq Coburn, the Hofstra transfer with a 13 point game on 5-of-8 shooting.
Naturally, those who returned from last season also featured big as well, especially as Julian Champagnie was once again the toast of Queens with a big 20-point game to kick start his 2021-22 season. Champagnie scoring came off of 8-of-14 from the floor and 2-of-3 from the foul line. Joining him in the stat column was Posh Alexander with an 18 point game on 6-of-7 shooting and 2-of-2 from the foul line. The biggest asset in Alexander’s game tonight though was his distribution with a team-leading seven assists and range with the three-ball going 4-of-5 from beyond the arc.
All of this summarizes to signs of a well-oiled machine, and the percentages point to that as well with the Johnnies tonight shooting 69.8% from the floor, 54.2 percent from beyond the arc, and 80.0 percent from the foul. The foul shooting appears to be in a much better place compared to where it has been in prior seasons. Hopefully, signs point to the Red Storm being better at the foul line this season.
On the Delta Devil side of things, their leading scorer tonight was Caleb Hunter with 16 points on 5-of-12 shooting and 2-of-2 from the foul line. As a team, the Delta Devils shot the ball at a rate of 29.4 percent from the floor, 27.3% from beyond the arc, and 68.4 percent from the foul line. Oddly enough a bad showing in the grand scheme of this game.
With this game in the books, St. John’s now turns their attention Saturday afternoon as they play host to Preseason All-MAAC First Team selection KC Ndefo and Saint Peter’s.