Score one for the black uniforms - and St. John's basketball's "Blackout" effort. Behind a blistering transition effort, St. John's blew by the South Carolina Gamecocks early and often, cruising to a 89-65 victory over the Gamecocks.
This may be what Lavin envisioned when putting together this team of elite athletes - a shot-making, shot-blocking squad of excitement.
Against a South Carolina squad that attacks the offensive glass but misses shots, the Red Storm found running opportunities galore against Frank Martin's team. St. John's was aggressive off of Gamecock misses, spread the floor well, and took quick but effective shots. St. John's also grabbed 10 offensive rebounds and held the Gamecocks to 22% (5/23) shooting outside the arc, using a mix of man defense and zone.
St. John's also had 9 blocks.
On the South Carolina side, a bad night included starting guard Brenton Williams suffering a head injury at the 13:34 mark of the second half. After a collision with forward Chris Obekpa, Williams laid still on the floor as the Carnesecca Arena crowd fell to a hush.
He didn't move as he was attended to by EMTs, and his teammates surrounded him as he was placed on the stretcher and taken to the emergency room. Per St. John's, he had movement in his extremities, and will be evaluated at a local hospital.
Williams was second on the Gamecocks for the night with 10 points.
On the floor, South Carolina was led by 11 from Michael Carrera with 11 rebounds. The Gamecocks turned the ball over 8 times in the first half, powering St. John's early surge. South Carolina did grab 50% of their own misses, giving themselves more chances on a night where St. John's generally ran them out of the gym.
Next up for St. John's will be Saturday's game against NJIT (the New Jersey Institute of Technology). South Carolina falls to 5-2, and head into their rivalry game against Clemson on Sunday.
- St. John's got to empty the bench, playing Sam Sealy, Jamal White, and Khadim Ndiaye.
- Marc-Antoine Bourgault got some late minutes, nailing a pair of threes and scoring 6 points.
- Felix Balamou got the start. In the beginning of the second half, he got a pair of blocks in the same possession, with about three seconds in between.
- JaKarr Sampson shot 4/6 from the field, with his jumper looking smooth, effective - and possibly better than most collegiate players' pull-up shot attempts.
- Sir`Dominic Pointer led the team with 5 assists. Chris Obekpa had 8 points and 3 of St. John's 9 blocks.