“Overall, we were disappointed with our performance in the first half, but the kids played better basketball in the second half,” said head coach Steve Lavin. “The two positives were that we came out with more purpose offensively in the second half and had better ball movement.”
Chris Obekpa had a triple-double, D’Angelo Harrison scored a game-high 28 points and St. John’s shot 64.5 percent (20-of-31) in the second half to surge past Humboldt State, 95-83, in exhibition action at Carnesecca Arena on Saturday afternoon.
Obekpa totaled 22 points, 11 blocks and 10 rebounds to lead the Red Storm. The big man made 7-of-10 shots from the floor and added 8-of-9 free throws. Rysheed Jordan added 19 points, while Sir’Dominic Pointer chipped in with 15 points.
Humboldt State shot just 38.5 percent (30-of-78) for the game, but benefitted from 28 second-chance points.
A Jordan jumper right after the break quickly erased a one-point halftime deficit, but a 3-pointer put the Lumberjacks back on top, 48-46, at the 19:41 mark. Another Jordan jumper tied the game before an Obekpa dunk gave the Red Storm the lead for good, 50-48, with 18:05 to play.
After Humboldt State trimmed the Red Storm lead to five, St. John’s bounced right back as an Obekpa slam-and-one capped a 7-0 run that pushed the lead back to 12 points with 9:18 to play.
St. John’s was tested one more time as the Lumberjacks went on a 6-0 spurt and trailed by just six with 1:18 on the clock. The Red Storm had an answer once again as four-straight free throws from Harrison pushed the lead back to 10 before a dunk from Christian Jones punctuated the final margin of victory.
St. John’s returns to action at Carnesecca Arena and concludes exhibition play with a 2 p.m. game on Nov. 8 against St. Thomas Aquinas. The game will be carried live on ESPN3.