Tonight, Coach Steve Lavin stayed home, on a modified schedule as he recovered. His absence mattered to the fans, but not to the game. With Assistant Coach Mike Dunlap at the controls, St. John's defeated St. Francis, NY with little incident at Carnesecca 63-48.
At times, the game was within single digits, but the offense was popping for the Red Storm. D`Angelo Harrison had the jump shot working from his first minutes off the bench, dropping 21 points. Malik Stith started in Harrison's stead, and Harrison gave the same level of effort - he's now been credited with 10 shots from the field in 4 of his 6 games.
Maurice Harkless chipped in with 18 points, showing his full skill set with jump shots, drives ending in dunks, and a gorgeous spin move to the bucket. Harkless added 5 total rebounds. Sir`Dominic Pointer, whose hadn't looked to shoot much all season (no more than 3 field goal attempts in a game) came out with 10 points on 5 shots, a nice jumper, and some thunderous finishes.
St. John's man and zone defenses held the Terriers to 21.7% shooting from the perimeter (5/23) and 35.8% overall. St. Francis started off slow, going down as much as 11-2, and never got close enough to make the game a nail-biter.
Despite the win, St. John's did struggle with turnovers (17 in 61 possessions) and struggled to hit free throws, going 9 of 19 (47.4%). Despite being the focus of pregame discussion, God`sgift Achiuwa didn't explode on the stat sheet. The center gave a workmanlike 7 rebounds, and made things difficult in the paint for St. Francis before fouling out. Phil Greene had 4 points, Stith added 2.
Look out for Quinn's postgame and more on the Rumble in the morning. And check out John's take on the game - with a shot chart - from Big Apple Buckets.