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St. John’s races past St. Francis, 86-52

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The Johnnies put together a solid performance, racing off to a fast start by the middle of the first half

Wendell Cruz

St. John’s dispatched the St. Francis Terriers fairly handily, despite some more choppy play, by the score of 86-52 tonight at Carnesecca Arena. The Red Storm improve to 11-0, with a Saturday night matchup against Sacred Heart to come before facing Seton Hall in New Jersey on December 29th.

The game opened with an offensive rebound by St. Francis, a three and then... two and a half minutes of misses for the Johnnies.

But a 10-0 run doubled up the Terriers, and the Red Storm upped the lead to as many as 13 in the half, despite St. Francis’ eight offensive rebounds, St. John’s eight turnovers and Mustapha Heron’s early two fouls.

A mix of active defense and bad shooting held St. Francis to 2/15 from beyond the arc; and Mikey Dixon was unleashed on the Terriers, attacking, driving, and generally more active than he had been in recent games. Glenn Sanabria of the Terriers was held scoreless in the half, while the other main scorers, Jalen Jordan and Chauncey Hawkins, were held to 14 opints on 5/18 shooting

Finally having a big lead early meant Greg Williams Jr. could get some run; he took that opportunity and looked like a solid bench piece, attacking the basket on drives, with a runner, and a loud follow dunk after an awkward miss from LJ Figueroa. That dunk was two of the six points he scored in an 11-0 team scoring run for the Johnnies in the second half garbage time.

Speaking of Figueroa, he was involved in two long replay reviews — one where he was undercut and was given free throws (and the Terriers received a technical foul) in the first half and again in the second half when he received a technical foul for elbowing St. Francis’ Glenn Sanabria in the face after a scrum for a loose ball near the free throw line.

We will note that the Terriers enjoyed an 11-0 run of their own in those last ten minutes when the play became full sloppy.

The deep bench and walk-ons got a chance to play, as well.

Marcellus Earlington also had the unique moment of taking a 1-and-on foul attempt, missing the first, and grabbing the rebound for a basket — because none of the St. Francis players realized the ball was live. Josh Roberts got a putback dunk after Earlington drove the basket and was blocked.

Earlington also got another layup and a three, for a career-high seven points. Justin Cole hit a jumper for a pair. Brandon Lawrence had a steal.

Accolades

  • Mikey Dixon: 13 points (4/5 2pt, 1/4 3pt), 3 rebounds
  • LJ Figueroa: 13 points (5/12 2pt, 1/2 3pt), 9 rebounds
  • Shamorie Ponds: 12 points (4/7 2pt, 0/1 3pt), 5 assists, 5 rebounds
  • Marvin Clark II: 12 points (1/2 2pt, 2/4 3pt), 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 4 blocks