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  • Patrick McCormack

Strong second half not enough for St. John's against BYU

St. John’s attempt to start the season 4-0 was stopped by BYU.

The Red Storm fell to the Cougars, 74-68, Wednesday evening at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

St. John’s jumped out to a 12-9 advantage, but BYU settled in and slowed down the young Red Storm’s attack.

Sophomore Julien Champagnie led all scorers with 25 points. Junior Isaih Moore tallied 11 points, and junior Greg Williams Jr. added 10 points.

Five Takeaways:

1. The Red Storm Were Slowed Down: The Cougars took away St. John’s transition game. The Red Storm took an early 12-9 lead, but from there, BYU was able to set the pace of the game and outscored SJU 20-11 for the remainder of the first half. In the half court offense, the Red Storm struggled to make shots and were forced out to the perimeter. They shot 2-of-11 from behind the arch, 9-of-31 from the field (31%), and were limited to four fast-break points in the first stanza.

2. Julien Champagnie Shined Again: After tallying seven points in the first half, the sophomore, who recorded 29 points and 10 rebounds in the win over Boston College, netted 18 points, on 7-of-14 shooting, in the second frame to finish the game with 25 points. He added five rebounds and three assists. After missing the first two games due to injury, the Brooklyn, N.Y. native is showing he is an important member of the St. John’s offense.

3. Greg Williams Jr. is All Over the Place: The junior brings energy to the lineup when he is on the floor. The Lafayette, La. native matched a season-high four steals, grabbed five rebounds, and added three assists to go along with 10 points. Williams Jr. has now scored in double-figures in three-straight contests and creates on the defensive end of the floor.

4. A Better Second Half: The Red Storm came out of half time and looked to find what makes them successful. The team scored 45 points in final period and was able to register 12 fast-break points. St. John’s also moved the ball better in the final frame, recording 12 assists, led by six from freshman Post Alexander. The game started to flow better, and they were able to improve from the first.

5. St. John’s Will Be Fun to Watch All Season: The Red Storm didn’t come away with the result they wanted tonight, but showed they have what it takes to be successful. Champagnie continues to build off of a strong freshman season, Williams Jr. is solid on defense and can produce on offense, and the young players continue to gain valuable in the early season. At its best, St. John’s will play a hard-nose, up-tempo, in your face style. Tonight, a slow start didn’t help, but the young players continued to show their protentional, and against a good BYU team, they battled for 40 minutes.

St. John’s returns home to host Stony Brook Sunday, December 6 at 2:30 p.m.

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