As the St. John's Red Storm said hello to Brooklyn for the first time since 1956, they said hello to the win column for the second straight game.
D`Angelo Harrison scored 25 points on 9/20 shooting, catapulting his Johnnies over their inner-city rival St. Francis, 77-60, in the team's Barclays Center debut.
Despite falling behind the Terriers 16-9 in the opening minutes, St. John's finished the half on a 36-19 run that left them leading by ten going into the intermission.
The first half was one of the Red Storm's best offensive halves of the season. Behind Sampson and Harrison (16 and 15 first half points respectively), the Johnnies shot 45% from the field.
Against height-disadvantaged St. Francis, Lavin's team was able to avoid its overcoming rebounding liability.
After his incredible 11-block performance against Fordham, many thought Chris Obekpa would have a feasting against the Terrier's small front line. True to form, he had 9 blocked shots. Obekpa played 29 minutes after getting a rare start.
"It felt right [to start Obekpa] tonight," Lavin mentioned. "It was a good opportunity to put him into the lineup because we've been doing some tinkering to our zone. It wasn't one determining factor, but rather a cumulative assessment."
St. John's was aided by St. Francis' poor shooting. They only converted 36% of their field goals after getting off to a hot start. The Terriers made four threes in the first six minutes, yet finished only 7/24 (29%) from behind the arc.
Next for St. John's is the "Ugly Sweater Game" on Friday, December 21st against UNC-Asheville at Carnesecca Arena.