D’Angelo Harrison wasted no time on Saturday afternoon, catching a pass from teammate Phil Greene at the top of the arc and draining a 3-pointer on the Red Storm’s first possession of the contest against Youngstown State, giving the prolific scorer sole possession of the St. John’s school record for career high in 3-point field goals.
The junior guard would go on to hit a total of five 3-pointers in just six attempts, giving Harrison a total of 156 career makes from long distance...and counting.
The Red Storm came away with a victory against YSU by a final score of 96-87, led by an impressive Harrison stat line: 29 points on 15 shots, six rebounds, four assists and zero turnovers.
“I had a lot of open shots,” Harrison said after the win. “Coach kept telling me to be aggressive but more efficient. I’ve done that the past two games.”
Harrison takes sole possession of the record from Willie Shaw, who converted on 151 of his 3-point shot in his four years with the team in the early 2000s.
Proud of his achievement, Harrison was quick to credit teammates for having a large role in his ability to score.
“It feels great, I’m excited I got it,” Harrison said of the record. “It’s good to have it, and I couldn’t do it without these guys.”
St. John’s head coach Steve Lavin is proud of his All-American guard, noting Harrison’s growth, both on and off the court.
“He’s improved his shot selection, and he’s shooting a higher percentage than he ever has in his career,” Lavin said. “He’s not just a scorer shooting a low percentage, now he’s a scorer who shoots a high percentage, and distributes the ball and takes care of the ball. Now you add some leadership and we’re really talking.”
Lavin handed Harrison a season-ending suspension last year, and though the infractions were never specified, the coach made it clear that the Houston native was being punished for behavioral issues.
But Harrison used his suspension to reevaluate himself, and feels that he has grown since his dismissal.
“It was hard to say at the beginning, but I thank coach for suspending me,” Harrison said. “He made me change a lot of things about myself. I came back a better person; the guys see it, everybody sees it. I thank him for that, and I thank the guys for taking me back on the team.”
This win improves the Red Storm’s record to 8-3, keeping them in the middle of the pack within the new-look Big East.
This season, Harrison is scoring more points at a more efficient rate than in his two previous years in Queens, taking fewer shots and playing shorter minutes. He is also causing fewer turnovers and is getting to the foul line more often than ever before.
Harrison feels the team is more mature than last year, and that they are capable of big things going forward.
“Coach stresses maturity with us every day,” Harrison said. “We all had to grow up, me especially. It looks like we’re going to be a hell of a team.”
The Johnnies finished the first half knotted at 43 with YSU, but played better defense after halftime, which led to fast-paced offense. It is integral for the team to be able to keep up their improved offense through conference play, which begins on New Year’s Eve for the Johnnies.
Harrison and the Red Storm will look to keep the good times rolling on Dec. 28 against Columbia University at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.