St. John's defeated UMBC 75-53 on Monday night at Carneseca Arena. The Red Storm handled business from the opening tip which was to be expected taking the lead and never looking back. Chris Mullin improved his record to 2-0 at the helm of his alma mater. Up next for the team, Rutgers visits Carneseca Arena on Thursday night before the Red Storm head to Maui.
Here are three keys from Monday's game. (photo by Wendell Cruz)
Pace of play
At the first media timeout in the first half, the Johnnies led the Retrievers 2-0. Chris Mullin's club started 1-6 from the field. However, they led 15-8 at the next media timeout and made this run by pushing tempo which was one of coach Mullin's focuses coming into the season.
During that run, St. John's made three layups, a three off of dribble penetration and two free throws. This run should exemplify successful St. John's basketball because it gives them easy ways to score namely layups, uncontested three point attempts, and free throws.
If it were not for St. John's turnovers, the score line could have favored the Johnnies more. They coughed it up 18 times as opposed to the America East opponent who gave it up 13 times. The Retrievers were only able to score 13 points off turnovers. An opponent from a power conference - like the teams coming up on St. John's schedule - could punish them.
UMBC was 18-46 from the field and had 20 offensive rebounds and could not capitalize. Also, the Retrievers were not able to take advantage of going to the free throw line. As a team, they went 9-17 (53%).
One impressive thing tonight was the box score. The Red Storm had three players in double figures and two other players with 8 and 7 points respectively. One question entering the season was who was going to score?
Tonight proves that the team has a few players who can be relied upon for points. Federico Mussini again helped lead the way scoring 18 points along with Ron Mvouika who scored 16 points. The Parisian went 4-4 from three point range.
Durand Johnson finally broke out for St. John's on Monday. He started the game 0-4 and then proceeded to make his next four attempts. The graduate transfer from the University of Pittsburgh finished with 15 points on 7-12 shooting. This is the type of game people around the program expected out of him after scoring 32 points in the Red and White Scrimmage.