Newcomers help St. John’s basketball steal victory in season opener

St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball head coach Mike Anderson (Mandatory Credit: Darren Yamashita-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was a robbery for the St. John’s basketball program in its season opener against St. Peter’s.

In its season opener against St. Peter’s University, the St. John’s basketball program was dead in the water until a home run pass with under 20 seconds to go went horribly wrong for the Peacocks.

Freshman star Posh Alexander came away with a steal, found fellow newcomer Vince Cole in the corner for a 3-pointer to put the Johnnies up by one, 76-75, with 7.8 seconds remaining.

One more defensive stop was needed by the Red Storm as St. Peter’s tried one last attempt to leave Queens with a victory but it was another newbie to St. John’s, Isaih Moore, who met Matthew Lee at the rim and secured the rebound for the victory.

It was a disappointing night for the returnees on Mike Anderson’s team but the second year head coach in Queens has to be thrilled at what he saw from his first-year players.

“Obviously it got my attention,” Anderson said regarding Cole’s play.

In his first Division I game, not only did Cole muster the game winning shot, but also ended with 21 points on 8-of-12 shooting, 5-of-6 from 3-point range, but he credits the final play to his freshman teammate.

“All credit to Posh [Alexander],” Cole said, “Because without Posh, none of that would’ve happened…He is a dog. He does that everyday.”

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Alexander stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and five steals on 5-of-8 shooting and had to shoulder more of the load as senior guard Rasheem Dunn did not see much action in the second half following a hard fall on his chin, which required stitches, according to Anderson.

However, Anderson knows not to complain about the victory as he said, “a win is a win…You don’t cry about a win, you lean from it.”

St. John’s saw its returning players, Greg Williams Jr., Marcellus Earlington, Josh Roberts, David Caraher, and Dunn shot a combined 4-of-22 from the field and felt like his team “didn’t match the intensity” of St. Peter’s.

“We missed a lot of layups. You let a team hang around, it becomes a game and they start believing.”

St. John’s basketball must get ready quickly for its next game

There’s no time for the Johnnies to bask in the moment of Wednesday night’s victory as the Red Storm take the floor once more against La Salle on Thursday, November 26 at 2:00pm EST.

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Anderson was very noncommittal on Dunn (chin) and sophomore forward Julian Champagnie (ankle) playing.

Champagnie did not play on Wednesday and his head coach said he would be “doubtful” for the Thanksgiving Day tilt but seems more optimistic about Monday night’s game against Boston College.

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