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St. John’s knocks off La Salle, 82-68

The Johnnies delivered a second-half spurt to come away with the win.

Vince Cole scores two
Wendell Cruz

St. John’s followed up a short turnaround with a more cohesive, more resounding win over the La Salle Explorers, by the score of 82-68.

St. John’s is 2-0 on the season.

The Red Storm were led by 19 points from Vince Cole, along with four assists; 12 of his points were in the second half. Posh Alexander also had four assists, along with eight points. Marcellus Earlington added 14. Isaih Moore had 10 points and seven rebounds.

Thanksgiving afternoon brought a rough start to the game. Both La Salle and St. John’s brought a certain chaos energy to the game. That energy:

  • resulted in a combined 25 turnovers;
  • resulted in 13 offensive rebounds combined, which resulted in seven second chance points. (in other words, a lot of balls slapped off the rim0;
  • the Red Storm 38% inside the arc;
  • and had three fouls committed by Marcellus Earlington, and two each from Posh Alexander, Greg Williams Jr., and John McGriff.

The Red Storm were leading 34-28, however, with solid efforts from Vince Cole, Isaih Moore and Earlington, plus a solid defensive effort from Greg Williams in particular. The fast break speed was there, but the finishing and control one would expect from a Big East side was lacking.

St. John’s got on the right side of the foul fest — and elevated the offensive attack with sharper movement and passing, getting more in control of their offense.

Posh Alexander fought for loose balls. Vince Cole started passing the ball as well as scoring. Josh Roberts got into the action.

The Johnnies opened up a 17-5 run behind a three from Dylan Addae-Wusu and a pair of threes from Marcellus Earlington, plus some fast break fouls committed by LaSalle, to increase the lead to 18.

The Explorers cut the lead to eight at one point, but the Red Storm righted the ship and sent the Explorers sailing.

La Salle was led by 14 from Ayinde Hikim.

Next for St. John’s is a matchup at Mohegan Sun against a Boston College team that may be less lackluster than they have been over the last few years.