St. John’s came out on Saturday afternoon, and, unlike so many other teams in this young season, did not come out flat against a less well-regarded Saint Peter’s team.
St. John’s started the afternoon with a hot start and cruised to a 91-70 victory at Carnesecca Arena. St. John’s improves to 2-0, while Saint Peter’s falls to 0-2.
Julian Champagnie led the team with 22 points in 32 minutes, leading four in double figures; Tareq Coburn added 17. St. John’s shot 45% from beyond the arc and 51% from the field overall. The Red Storm held Saint Peter’s to 41% shooting from the field.
The Red Storm started the game looking to establish their presence inside with touches for center Joel Soriano. Those moments kept the Peacocks honoring the threat inside and making sure to keep penetration to a minimum.
That defensive attention inside, perhaps, gave the Johnnies the green light to shoot threes. In the first half, the Red Storm took nearly 60% of their shots from beyond the arc.
In previous years, that statement would be followed by how the Johnnies struggled to connect. In previous years, a good opponent game plan would be to pack the paint, prevent drives, and make the Red Storm shoot.
But from the opening minutes, the threes rained down. The Red Storm hit 53% of their shots from deep, kept the pace fast, and forced misses on both sides of the arc.
The Johnnies were up 20 at the half, with Tareq Coburn having his own personal 8-0 run to push the lead.
Not everything was perfect [and we will dig deeper into the issues tomorrow].
The Johnnies matched Saint Peter’s turnover for turnover in the first half.
The number of threes the Johnnies took were admirable, but not necessarily the game they want to play, given their open-court athleticism.
Some of the fouls from the likes of Coburn and Soriano need to be cleaned up.
St. John’s, while comfortable the whole game and also while playing more of the bench in the second half, allowed a far more efficient second half to the Peacocks.
Still, the win was strong, the margin was solid, and the Red Storm have good vibes headed into the next game against Indiana at 9:00 PM on FS1.