St. John’s took some minutes to get started, but found the plot and blew out visiting Utah Valley by the score of 96-78.
St. John’s improves to 9-7, while Utah Valley falls to 5-6 on the season.
The Johnnies, despite forcing double-digit turnovers against Utah Valley, found themselves down a point in the middle of the first half. Utah Valley was riding Trey Woodbury, who was getting off tough shots without enough pressure; meanwhile, the Johnnies were a bit sluggish on both sides of the ball.
Trips to the free throw line for Rasheem Dunn and Vince Cole sparked a 10-0 run from the Red Storm. Posh Alexander took command with tough defense and a pair of three-pointers to give the Red Storm an 11-point lead.
In the second half, despite some efforts from Jamison Overton, the Red Storm blew open their lead to as many as 19, as Julian Champagnie started to pour in the points.
Posh Alexander led the team with 20 with three steals. Julian Champagnie added 19 and added two blocks. Rasheem Dunn had 11 and led the team with four assists.
Utah Valley’s Trey Woodbury scored 23 and four assists to lead the Wolverines in both categories. Jamison Overton added 18. Evan Cole had 17. Fardaws Aimaq scored 10 with 13 rebounds. The nation’s leading rebounder rolled his ankle and left the game late in the second half.
Next up for St. John’s is a trip to Chicago to take on the DePaul Blue Demons on Wednesday night.
- Greg Williams Jr. missed the game with a back problem. Vince Cole started in his stead and scored 15.
- Defensively, the Utah Valley squad scored crisply inside the arc — 63% on twos in the contest. Late in the second half, the Red Storm allowed some “it’s a blowout” dunks, but that does not account for the other shots UVU was able to connect on, even as a team that wants to score inside the arc. The Wolverines scored 46 of their 78 points in the paint.
- Isaih Moore had a solid game, getting to rebounds and dunking the ball, even hitting a jumper from just inside the line. He scored 13 with six rebounds.
- Josh Roberts’ defense was very good, making scoring hard for the UVU stars Fardaws Aimaq and Evan Cole. His missed a putback or two, but had six rebounds and four blocks.
- St. John’s was 15/16 from the free throw line.
- The Red Storm forced 22 turnovers and took 21 more shots from the field.