St. John’s basketball overcomes slow start to throttle Stony Brook

St. John's basketball guard Greg Williams Jr. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball guard Greg Williams Jr. (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball was able to overcome a slow start to defeat Stony Brook.

Following its first loss of the season in its last outing, the St. John’s basketball team was sleep walking in the opening 15 minutes against Stony Brook (1-2), before Mike Anderson woke his team up.

“I was anxious to see how we responded, and they threw the first punch. But our guys hung in there and had a nice run right before halftime. They played real well, got really engaged defensively and just tried to create some havoc,” Anderson said calling the first ten minutes, a BYU “hangover”.

The Red Storm (4-1) closed the first half on a 22-2 run and carried that momentum into the second half, pulling away from the Seawolves, 89-66.

All 12 scholarship players that saw the floor were able to score but the Johnnies were led by junior guard Greg Williams Jr. who ended with 21 points, tying a career high, on 8-of-11 shooting, 3-of-5 from 3-point range.

“It’s really exciting to be able to be on the floor with everybody. We all play off each other so well. I think we definitely showed we’re the team we’re capable of being,” the junior explained.

Williams Jr. also added four rebounds, three assists, and six steals in the victory.

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“What becomes a strength for our team is our versatility. We’ve got multiple options now. When you see the runs and how they’re coming, because of our defense, sometimes it’ll open up shots and fast breaks,” the head coach of the Red Storm said.

St. John’s was once again without senior guard Rasheem Dunn who missed his fourth straight game due to a concussion but Julian Champagnie did play in his third straight outing following an ankle injury.

The sophomore struggled early in the first half but was able to recover, finishing with 16 points, three rebounds, four assists, and three steals on 5-of-11 shooting from the floor.

Isaih Moore was the only other player for St. John’s to reach double digits on Sunday afternoon with 16 points, seven rebounds, three assists, and three steals following his struggles against BYU.

Defense leads the way for St. John’s basketball

St. John’s was able to force 20 steals, which was the most a Red Storm team has forced in at least 16 years, and the 29 turnovers forced were the most since the season opener in the 2005-06 campaign.

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Four Seawolves were able to record at least ten points in its defeat as Mo Gueye paced Stony Brook with 15 points.

The Johnnies will have one more tune-up before Big East Conference play as St. John’s will host Rider on Tuesday evening (7:00pm EST, CBS Sports Network) before traveling to Connecticut to face UConn on Friday night.

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