St. John’s set the tempo early.
The Red Storm used their fast-paced offense to defeat Boston College, 97-93, Monday evening for their third straight win at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn. Also known, this week as "Bubbleville".
“This team has a lot of pieces,” head coach Mike Anderson said. “I just want to keep getting these pieces to come together.”
Sophomore Julian Champagnie recorded a double-double in his season debut tallying 29 points and 10 rebounds. Freshman Posh Alexander netted 18 points, on 7-of-11 shooting, and Greg Williams Jr. added 17 points in the victory.
1. The Red Storm want to run the floor: Boston College (1-1) jumped out to an early 19-9 advantage, but St. John’s was able to settle in and take control of the half by setting the pace. After rallying to tie the score at 29, St. John’s, who tallied 25 fast-break points, used a 13-3 run, led by a pair of three-pointers from Champagnie, who tallied 14 points in the first stanza, and Alexander, who shot 6-of-6 from the field and netted 16 points in the frame, to make it a 42-32 contest. They continued to push the pace and led 52-40 at the half.
2. St. John’s Shared the Basketball: The Red Storm recorded 22 assists on 36 made baskets. Whether it was in the half-court offense or running in transition, they made the proper moves to score the basketball. The assists also came from multiple players. Williams Jr. and freshman Dylan Addae-Wusu led the team with six helpers, while Alexander added five.
3. The Freshmen Guards Didn’t Look Like Freshmen: Both were mentioned in previous points, but their importance deserves its own recognition. Alexander netted a team-high 16 points in the first stanza. Addae-Wusu was a key member off the bench. On the offensive end, he tallied nine points, he also recorded six assists, while adding a steal and drawing a couple of chargers on the other end of the court. In just the third game of the season, the freshmen made their mark on the contest.
“We’re doing it with guys who never played at this level before,” Anderson said. “Those guys are stepping up to the challenge. They are learning as they are going, and they are growing. “
4. The Defense Kept Boston College Off Balance: Looking at the 97-93 final, the question of where was the defense? Could be asked. But it is the little plays that go unnoticed over the course of the game, that help a team to victory. St. John’s tallied seven steals. With 13:34 left in the second half after a made layup by Williams Jr., he stole the inbound pass and set up two points from Addae-Wusu. On the next Eagles’ possession, a steal by Marcellus Earlington led to a monstrous dunk on the other end by Williams Jr. Finally, in the final seconds, Champagnie came up with the steal in a three-point game to seal the win.
Williams Jr.’s play caught the attention of Anderson.
“I thought we saw him (Williams Jr.) be assertive in a lot of different ways. Whether it be touching balls, steals, rebounding, getting to the free-throw line. Just making plays.”
5. St. John’s Weathered the Storm: Boston College quickly made a 20-point game, 75-55, with 13:15 remaining a one-point contest, 94-93, with 30 ticks left. But the young Red Storm hit the foul shots they needed, and made the defensive plays down the stretch to win.
St. John’s takes on BYU Wednesday, December 3 at Mohegan Sun. Tip-off is scheduled for 5:00 p.m.