St. John’s basketball dominates Utah Valley in final non-conference game

St. John's basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball (Photo by Porter Binks/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball dominated Utah Valley in its final non-conference game of the season. 

The St. John’s basketball program wanted to play more games.

It wanted this opportunity against Utah Valley (5-6, 3-0 WAC) and after a slow start the Red Storm (9-7, 3-6 Big East) buckled down on the defensive end and dominated the Wolverines on Saturday afternoon.

The Johnnies were without junior guard Greg Williams Jr. who suffered a back injury in the victory over No. 23 UConn on Monday afternoon but the rest of the team picked up the slack in the 96-78 victory.

Five members of the Red Storm reached double-figures as freshman guard Posh Alexander led the way with 20 points.

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“He’s starting to figure out,” Mike Anderson said of his freshman point guard who tied a career high with 18 points against the Huskies and set a new career high on Saturday.

The St. John’s defense was able to force 22 turnovers, creating 25 points off those chances, while only turning the ball over four times, a season low for the Johnnies.

“We came out nonchalant…we need to be a 40 minute team,” Alexander said following the victory.

Sophomore forward Julian Champagnie ended his afternoon with 19 points, 13 points coming in the second half, after missing the last four minutes of the first half after getting inadvertently hit in the face battling for a rebound.

St. John’s basketball looking to keep momentum back into Big East play

Anderson was noncommittal on whether or not Williams Jr. would be available to play in Wednesday night’s game but the Johnnies are prepare to keep climbing the conference’s standings  regardless of who plays.

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Despite two bad losses to Georgetown and Marquette this season, the Red Storm still have a chance to make things interesting with back-to-back wins next week.

Things begin with a trip to Chicago to face the DePaul Blue Demons (2-5, 0-5 Big East) on Wednesday at 9:00pm EST (Fox Sports 1) before a rematch with Connecticut (7-3, 4-3 Big East) in Queens on Sunday, January 31 at 3:30pm (FOX).