After an impressive win over Syracuse at the Carrier Dome and a new ranking to show for, St. John's returned home and defeated Fairleigh Dickinson, 74-52, at Carnesseca Arena Wednesday night. D'Angelo Harrison led the team with 26 points and 6 rebounds and Phil Greene continued his superb shooting as he added 16 points. Rysheed Jordan was able to put up 8 points off the bench and only had 2 turnovers.
Sir'Dominic Pointer contributed 12 points and 6 boards and Chris Obekpa's length was a problem as he had 10 points, 12 rebounds and 6 blocks.
This was the first game for the Johnnies since they moved into the Top 25 of the AP Poll on Monday. They are ranked 24th overall and have entered the poll for the first time since the 2010-11 season.
In the past, this would have been a game where St. John's came out of the gate in sluggish fashion. Instead, they proved how important experience is to their early season success. They were able to create wide-open shots due to great ball distribution and smart decision-making. The quick ball movement led the Johnnies to their best shooting half of the season, 59 percent, and gave them a 39-25 lead at the break.
They were also able to shut down Fairleigh Dickinson's fast break offense in the first half as they blocked multiple shots at the rim and gave up a total of zero fast break points.
With 7:57 left in the second half, the Knights cut the lead to only 10 points as the Johnnies were struggling to find consistent scoring from anyone besides Harrison. Phil Greene had 12 points in the first half but only scored four points in the second.
The mini run by the Knights was not enough though as St. John's was able to attack the rim and get to the free throw line where they shot 79 percent.
Despite their 3-4 record, Fairleigh Dickinson has played another top 25 team this season, Notre Dame, so they were not afraid to attack the Johnnies in the paint. The Johnnies had no issues though as they were able to out-work the Knights by winning the rebounding battle, 35 to 24. They also added 11 blocks and added plenty of points in the paint.
Surprisingly, Myles Stewart didn't play a single minute until the game was in the bag. He has played significant minutes the last three games.
Mustafaa Jones led FDU with 18 points but Matt MacDonald, their second leading scorer coming into this game, struggled to shoot the ball, going 1 for 4 from the field and only scoring 5 points. Xavier Harris was a factor as he put up 13 points and 8 boards.
Next up for the Red Storm, 7-1, is a date against their fellow New Yorkers, the Fordham Rams, on Sunday at Madison Square Garden.
Rumble will have coverage leading up to the matchup.