“It feels good,” said Red Storm sophomore JaKarr Sampson, who made five of those 17 shots during an incredible first-half run. “When everything is going your way in the flow of the game, it feels good.”
SJU used the net-scorching stretch to pull away early and coast to a 104-58 victory over Fordham in the Holiday Festival. The win improved the Red Storm’s record to 6-2 on the season, and 1-0 at Madison Square Garden, where the Johnnies next face No. 4 Syracuse on Sunday, Dec. 15.
It was the first time St. John’s scored 100 points in a game in almost 14 years (104-70 vs. Providence in Queens on Feb. 15, 1999). It was the biggest blowout in the 85 games played between the New York City schools, a series that started in 1909.
“This showed how we’re capable of playing,” Red Storm guard D’Angelo Harrison said. “If this is how we play we’re tough to beat. Everybody had a good game today.”
Senior Orlando Sanchez put together the breakout performance Red Storm fans were waiting for, as one of 11 Johnnies to score and one of five St. John’s players to reach double-figures. The Dominican-born big man was 8-of-10 from the field and 2-of-2 from long-range to amass a career-high 19 points, to go along with eight rebounds and four assists.
“Everybody on the team tells me I have to shoot all the time,” said Sanchez, who had a previous career-high of eight points and came into the contest averaging 4.4 points per game. “I shot everything today.”
The Red Storm had one of the best shooting runs a team could have. St. John’s didn’t miss a shot for over 12 minutes in the first half, making 17-straight, firing at a 22-of-28 clip (78.6 percent) for the period and posting a 52-32 halftime lead.
“Looking at the stat sheet, a couple of things stand out. The 29 assists against only nine turnovers indicate we looked for one another and hit the open man,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “I thought we were aggressive yet also probed and investigated for the best available shot. In transition, we looked for one another very well.”
St. John’s takes on the Orange at The Garden on Sunday to continue a century-old rivalry that was threatened when the original Big East dissolved. The Red Storm will visit the Carrier Dome during the 2014-15 season on a date to be determined.
“The Johnnies and Cuse rivalry is now more than a century old and deserves to continue,” said Lavin.