St. John’s men bounce back from Wisconsin loss
Nov 20, 2013 | 5996 views | 0 0 comments | 197 197 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The St. John’s men’s basketball team started hot, finished with authority and used a strong performance at the free throw line to salt away a 73-57 home-opening victory over Wagner on Friday night.

Junior guard D’Angelo Harrison followed up a 27-point performance in a loss to then-No. 20 Wisconsin with a 25-point effort against the Seahawks, finishing 7-of-16 from the field and making all 11 of his free throw attempts as part of a 29-point night for St. John’s at the line.

Meanwhile, the Red Storm limited Wagner to a 35.5 percent shooting night and only 22 first-half points, playing defense without fouling and sending the Seahawks to the line for only nine attempts.

St. John’s drilled hard on defense for a week of practice after allowing the Badgers 51 second-half points and 11 3-pointers seven days earlier.

“I thought we made progress tonight in all the areas that needed to be addressed after our Wisconsin loss,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “Incremental, but I thought we were better tonight on the defensive end of the court than we were against Wisconsin.”

Sophomore JaKarr Sampson had 13 points and seven rebounds for St. John’s, which finished with a 45-34 rebound advantage. Senior Orlando Sanchez scored eight points with eight boards, sophomore Chris Obekpa swatted four shots and grabbed eight rebounds, and junior Jamal Branch scored eight in 20 minutes as a reserve.

“There were some nice individual performances as well, but the important thing is that we got the ‘W,’” said Lavin. “Now we have to get ready for Bucknell, another NCAA-caliber team.”

Non-conference action continues with three-straight contests at Carnesecca Arena. Following a tilt with 2013 NCAA participant Bucknell (Nov. 19), the Red Storm opens play with two on-campus games as part of the Barclays Center Classic presented by Continental Tire.

Monmouth comes to Queens on Friday, Nov. 22 followed by Longwood on Tuesday, Nov. 26, prior to St. John’s second appearance in two seasons at the Barclays Center .

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