St. John’s basketball romps Mississippi Valley State for easy victory

St. John's basketball (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports)
St. John's basketball (Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports) /

It was an easy victory for the St. John’s basketball team on opening night in Queens. 

Mississippi Valley State needed some Jerry Rice magic to stay with the St. John’s basketball team on opening night in Queens.

The Johnnies jumped out to a 16-3 lead at the first media timeout and never looked back.

New York Knicks guard Immanuel Quickley was in attendance to see the St. John’s debut of his friend Montez Mathis and the Rutgers transfer poured in 11 points on 4-of-5 shooting.

St. John’s held the Delta Devils to 6-of-33 shooting from the field in the first half as the Johnnies connected on 23-of-34 shots in the opening 20 minutes to lead 59-18.

“We have potential. We have some guys that can do some things that we hadn’t been able to do,” Anderson said following the 119-61 victory.

Julian Champagnie caught fire in the second half for St. John’s as the Big East’s leading scorer from a season ago ended the night with 20 points and four rebounds in St. John’s 58-point win.

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Mike Anderson played 11 scholarship players in the first half, including Dylan Addae-Wusu who did not play in any preseason or exhibition outings due to offseason ankle surgery.

Addae-Wusu played 12 minutes and chipped in eight points.

Posh Alexander began his sophomore campaign with 18 points and seven assists on 6-of-7 shooting, 4-of-5 from deep, as Hofstra transfer Tareq Coburn showcased his shooting stroke with 13 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the floor.

“I worked on my shooting a lot in the summer. I feel like I’m shooting well and building up my confidence,” Posh Alexander said following the win.

“I focus on it in practice every day, so I just had to bring that to into a game setting.”

Joel Soriano, a Fordham transfer, displayed his post moves that have not been seen around Queens in years with11 points, 13 rebounds, and two blocks.

St. John’s shot 69.2-percent from the field and 52.0-percent from downtown while forcing 18 turnovers.

“There’s still a lot of work to be done, without a doubt, but they all had some flashes. We just have to get better,” Anderson said.

St. John’s basketball could be looking at a tougher road ahead

St. Peter’s, St. John’s next opponent, played VCU to the buzzer on the road in a 2-point loss while Indiana, who the Johnnies will play in the following game, needed to withstand a second half rally from Eastern Michigan to emerge victorious.

Pittsburgh fell at home to The Citadel which eliminates any chance at a quality win for the Red Storm in its non-conference finale.

The Johnnies will look to take a positive opening night victory and carry that into the weekend as the Peacocks of St. Peter’s University come to Queens looking to avenge its last second loss to the Red Storm from a season ago.

Tipoff on Saturday, November 13 is scheduled for 4:00pm EST.

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