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St. John’s knocks off DePaul, 81-68

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Red Storm get strong performances from Vince Cole and Posh Alexander on the way to another Big East win.

NCAA Basketball: St. John at Connecticut David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s earned their second Big East road win and their third win in a row with a victory over DePaul, 81-68.

DePaul had a game plan: get the ball into the paint. St. John’s had a game plan: don’t get stuffed in the paint. Both teams succeeded early on, with DePaul taking 10 of their first 13 shots in the paint, while the Red Storm started with a number of jump shots. St. John’s defense was up to the task, though, forcing misses at the rim.

DePaul’s Pauly Paulicap — the forward from Elmont who enjoyed career highs in points (16) and rebounds (16) — kept the Blue Demons in the game through the stretch, almost getting to double digit offensive rebounds in the first half.

The rest of the Blue Demons could not hang on to the ball, however, and between the turnovers and explosive scoring from Posh Alexander and Vince Cole, the Red Storm raced out to a 15 point lead at the half.

The second half started with some scoring struggles, as DePaul’s defense stepped up. Isaih Moore found his way to the rim for a number of dunks. Still, the Demons chipped away as the Red Storm struggled with turnovers and DePaul’s defensive rotations, which kept the Johnnies from penetrating to the rim.

Julian Champagnie had missed minutes with some minor injuries to what looked to be his hand and ankle. But with the buffer at seven points, Champagnie came alive with a layup at the beginning of an 8-0 run, and a three with just over two minutes left to seal the deal. He finished with 16 points and six rebounds.

Notes

With St. John’s next game against UConn postponed due to COVID issues (a referee in their game last night vs Butler), St. John’s may play another game on Sunday. After that, the next contest on the schedule is next Wednesday against Villanova.

Vince Cole led St. John’s with 18 points. “It was his opportunity to step up and make an impact on the team,” Mike Anderson said after the game. “He’s amping up and playing with a little more assertion.

Isaih Moore fouled out, but scored 15 points on 6/7 shooting and had three steals. He scored on five dunks, a layup and a trio of free throws, a performance Anderson called “efficient”.

Posh Alexander added 15 with six rebounds, five assists, and three steals. Rasheem Dunn added seven and nine assists, one shy of his career high. Josh Roberts had two points, seven rebounds and two blocked shots.

DePaul shot 4/17 from beyond the arc and had 18 turnovers. Charlie Moore led the team with 21, while Paulicap and Jevon Freeman-Liberty both had 16 points.