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Game Preview: SJU vs Sonoma State

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St. John's players, coaches, and fans expect something better than Wednesday night's shocker.

Wendell Cruz

St. John's continues its exhibition slate of the schedule tomorrow against Sonoma State, a Division II school located in Rohnert Park, California. St. John's last faced Sonoma State during the 2012-13 season with Steve Lavin at the helm.

The game is on Saturday, November 6 at 4pm at Carneseca Arena and will be aired on ESPN3.

The Red Storm enter Saturday's contest coming off a 32-point loss to St. Thomas Aquinas in Chris Mullin's first game as coach.  The team was led in scoring by Federico Mussini who scored 16 points on 6-13 shooting including 4-9 from deep. The lone bright spot for St. John's was Christian Jones who chipped in 13 points, 11 rebounds and 4 steals. This was an all around bad loss for the Johnnies, and they will have to rebound against the Seawolves.

Scouting Sonoma State

Sonoma State is a part of the California State University system; the Seawolves, like many other Cal State schools, play in Division II in the California Collegiate Athletic Association. In recent years, St. John's has played exhibition games against other members of the conference such as San Francisco State and Humboldt State.

This is the only game the Seawolves will play against a Division I opponent.  Last year, the California school went 12-14 and 9-13 in conference.  They return two of their top four scorers, James Davis and David Ahern. Davis averaged 14.1 points per game, and Ahern averaged 8.8. Also, all but three players are six feet or taller and three of which are above six eight, so they have good size and will be a true rebounding test.

The last meeting between the two schools was November 3, 2012 with St. John's winning 73-55. Phil Greene and Amir Garrett led the way with 17 points each. The only remaining player from this matchup is Christian Jones, who had 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocks.

What to Watch For

A Better St. John's: They had a sloppy start on Wednesday with 27 turnovers. If they cut down on the turnovers, St. John's will have more success in the score line. The entire team is inexperienced, both individually and together from the coaching staff to the players, so bumps along the way are to be expected. But the squad should put forth a better effort Saturday.

Scoring: The Red Storm shot 36.7 percent from the field on Wednesday including 26.1 percent in the second half and 6-26 (23%) from downtown. They should be able to get that percentage up especially if they convert close opportunities; the players botched open layups that they likely have been making since their youth. Expect Durand Johnson to have a better game. After scoring 32 points in the Red and White Scrimmage, the graduate transfer from the University of Pittsburgh scored 1 point, and he should score more in this game after averaging 8.8 points per game in 2013-14 for Pitt.