After a stone cold offensive performance against New Hampshire last Saturday, St. John’s had a strong bounceback performance against Florida State in the Orange Bowl Classic, defeating the Seminoles by a score of 93-79.
On a neutral court in the FLA Live Arena just outside of the Miami area, the Red Storm put on a complete offensive performance from tip-off to buzzer against a 3-9 Florida State squad that they could not afford to lose against.
The opening gameplan was clear, as the Red Storm gashed an undermanned Florida State team inside the paint. 18 of their first 25 points came from around the rim and Joel Soriano logged his nation-best 10th double-double of the season with a 23 point, 12 rebound outing. Andre Curbelo was also very active in this contest, scoring 14 points, snagging 6 boards, and dishing out 7 assists while only turning the ball over twice today.
Attacking the basket allowed the outside scoring to open up as Dylan Addae-Wusu matched a career-high of 20 points while finding his rhythm from beyond the arc, shooting 4-for-7 from three, including an exclamation-point three in the waning seconds.
David Jones jumped out of the starting blocks hot, scoring 14 of his 16 points in the first half alone, with his playing time being limited in the second stanza due to foul trouble. He also drilled multiple threes in a game (2-for 4 today) for the first time since he went a much less efficient 3-for-15 against Syracuse in the Empire Classic championship game last month.
Mike Anderson’s patented high-tempo style functioned as advertised against an inexperienced Seminole squad, as the Red Storm forced 16 turnovers and logged 30 of their 93 points off giveaways in this contest.
While their consistent offensive onslaught was enough to push this game out of reach, the Red Storm left a lot to be desired on the defensive end of the ball. They regularly found themselves with double-digit leads throughout the contest, but they saw their second-half lead of 20 points (61-41) shrink to just 6 points (78-72) with as little as five minutes remaining in the second half due to a flurry of missed assignments.
The Seminoles were 11-for-19 from deep and made half of their second-half shots from beyond the arc. The largest benefactor of the Red Storm’s defensive indifference was Darin Green Jr., who scored a team-high 30 points for the Seminoles while shooting 8-for-11 from beyond the arc.
The Red Storm were able to stymie any potential rally by the Seminoles by consistently chipping away at the bucket, drawing fouls, and making foul shots. In the second half alone, St. John’s went 14-for-16 from the charity stripe.
St. John’s finishes their non-conference schedule with a 10-1 record, and currently sit with a 11-1 record. In their next contest, they will take a trip to the Main Line for a midweek Big East battle against Villanova on Wednesday night at 6:30pm.