St. John’s basketball head coach Mike Anderson gets career win No. 400

St. John's basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images)
St. John's basketball (Photo by Mitchell Layton/Getty Images) /

St. John’s basketball picked up a major win against Xavier for its NCAA Tournament resume. 

It was a win the St. John’s basketball team needed to have for its NCAA Tournament lives and the Johnnies (14-8, 8-7 Big East) played with the intensity and passion to pick up a victory against Xavier (11-4, 4-4 Big East) on Tuesday night, 93-84.

The victory marked the 400th win in the head coaching career of Mike Anderson and it moved St. John’s into 5th place in the Big East Conference standings.

“I think about all the team’s I’ve had,” Anderson said after his milestone victory, “it’s a blessing and I’m very grateful. I never thought I’d be in this position.”

Sophomore star Julian Champagnie quietly posted 21 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field and 2-of-6 from three-point range.

Freshman point guard Posh Alexander improved with his shooting as the night progressed, going 7-for-15 from the floor and flirted with a triple-double, ending with 15 points, eight rebounds, and nine assists while not turning the basketball over.

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“He’s a dog,” Marcellus Earlington said after the game about the freshman guard.

“He’s really confident and we go as he goes.”

Ron Artest was the last player in program history to record a triple-double during the 1998-99 season.

The Red Storm got exactly what it needed with a combined 44 points from Rasheem Dunn, Earlington, and Isiah Moore.

“When he comes in, the energy picks up, the excitement picks up,” Anderson said of Moore’s recent stretch, where he has posted double-figures in four of his last seven games.

Xavier star forward Zach Freemantle continued his hot stretch with 22 points and ten rebounds while Colby Jones chipped in 20 points on 6-of-9 shooting and Paul Scruggs ended the night with 14 points, six rebounds, and six assists.

St. John’s basketball looks to continue home cooking.

The Johnnies have four games left on its schedule, three of which are at home. The lone road trip is a meeting with No. 10 Villanova.

If St. John’s is to win its home games, it should be enough make the NCAA Tournament.

“We’ve got the chance to be a very special team,” Anderson said after the victory.

Before his head coach stepped to the Zoom screen, Marcellus Earlington had the same feelings, “We know how good we can be. This is our goal. We’re not surprised.”

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However, St. John’s will host basement dweller DePaul (3-9, 1-9 Big East), where a win would do very little to help the at-large bid chances of the Johnies but a loss would be catastrophic.

Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30pm EST (Fox Sports 1) inside Carnesecca Arena on Saturday, February 20.