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St. John’s holds Fordham for the win, 83-69

The Johnnies get back on track tonight with some improved play

NCAA Basketball: Kansas at St. John Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

Tonight felt like a palate cleanser for St. John’s as they hit the court of Carnesecca Arena to play host to their interborough rivals the Fordham Rams. It was an excellent rebound game coming into tonight off a rather disappointing Friday night game against Kansas, as the Johnnies rebounded tonight to win by a score of 83-69 over the Rams.

It felt in some ways like a pretty straightforward win for the Red Storm. Nothing too out of the ordinary nor anything that posed a red flag in how they played tonight. If anything it was certainly impressive how long Fordham hung in and played well against the Johnnies for stretches. For a team predicted to finish 14th in the Atlantic 10 they certainly have a lot of positive flash in their game and a number of players who are quite enjoyable to watch.

The three players for the Rams who I mentioned in the preview for this game were as good as advertised as Chuba Ohams, Darius Quisenberry, and Antonio Daye Jr. all posted double-digit games for Fordham. Ohams finished tonight with 20 points on the game, while Quisenberry had 16 on the game and Daye Jr. had 13 points to round out the scoring. In all a nice and tidy showing.

St. John’s on the other hand and as mentioned at the top had a game that felt like a palate cleanser coming off the game on Friday. It felt like tonight they got back to the basics of their style of play rather than ripping it up to start again. They had four players tonight finish with double-digit point totals as everyone or well nearly everyone had themselves a night.

Posh Alexander set the tone early with his dazzling play almost seemingly creating space out of thin air to get an advantage on the court. His play tonight had a greater emphasis on scoring finishing tonight with a team-leading 23 points on 11-of-16 shooting. The way he carved up the Rams defense to get to the basket was a site to see.

Surprisingly Alexander was not the assist leader for the Red Storm tonight. That honor falls to Dylan Addae-Wusu who had a double-double night of 11 points and 11 assists on the game going tit-for-tat in scoring and passing. Rounding out the scoring were two 16 point games by Julian Champagnie and Montez Mathis.

Speaking of Champagnie, his scoring prowess is well known but more needs to be said about his defense. He has that natural scoring touch, but the man is a solid defender through and through especially tonight as he had 8 rebounds, 3 steals, and 2 blocks. There is always a player there but the man is just an all-around ballplayer every time he steps on the floor.

As a team, St. John’s tonight shot the ball at a rate of 55.7% from the floor, 33.3% from beyond the arc, and 62.5% from the foul line. St. John’s has never been much of a free-throw-shooting team but it seems each game has led to more dire trips to the charity strike. They won the battle on the boards with 37 total rebounds to Fordham’s 29 boards. Turnovers went down this game too though turnover over the ball 15 times to Fordham’s 17 times isn’t exactly something to write home about but it is at least a small sign of improvement.

On the Fordham side of things, the Rams tonight shot the ball at a rate of 37.3% from the floor, 31.3% from beyond the arc, and 93.8% from the foul line.

In terms of fouls, only Antrell Charlton fouled out of tonight’s game for Fordham, while St. John’s Esahia Nyiwe came close finishing the night with 4 fouls.

With this game in the books, St. John’s now turns their attention to Thursday night as they play host to the Monmouth Hawks.