St. John’s hit its first four three-point attempts on their way to a strong 83-69 victory over Fordham on Sunday night in Queens.
The game had some anticipation, as Red Storm center Joel Soriano looked to have a statement game.
Soriano was a high-level recruit for the Rams (6-4) two year ago, and after spending a year at Fordham and going through a coaching change, he transferred to St. John’s (6-2), leaving a bad taste in the mouth of Fordham fans.
Fordham center Chuba Ohams was looking forward to facing his former teammate, but this game was about Posh Alexander, who was too much for Fordham to handle.
“We’re coming together,” said Alexander following the contest. “It’s a new group of guys on this team, we are just trying to figure what we can do.”
Following the 20-point St. John’s loss to Kansas on Friday in the first-ever basketball game played at the new UBS Arena, Fordham, picked last in the coaches poll in the Atlantic 10 Conference, was hoping to catch the Red Storm flat.
“If you look at the last game we played against Kansas, we got annihilated on the glass,” said Coach Mike Anderson. “I thought we did a much better job of taking care of the glass with multiple guys getting rebounds. That’s the emphasis.”
After the Johnnies came out on fire, Fordham went on a run and took a 21-20 at the 10-minute mark. Then Alexander went to work, dropping in nine of his game high 23-points, leading to a 13-point lead at the half.
The second half was a game of runs, as Fordham had an 11-0 run and later a 7-0 run to pull within 8 points at the seven-minute mark, but it wouldn’t be enough.
It was a very good effort from our basketball team and a very good effort from Fordham,” said Anderson. “It was like a neighborhood brawl. They wouldn’t go away and that’s a credit to the coaching staff and their players.”
Julian Champagnie had 16 points and 8 rebounds for St. John’s, while Montez Mathis dropped in 16 points.
While Fordham’s Ohams had 20 points in 26 minutes, Soriano only saw eight minutes of action, scoring just four points. He did have six rebounds in his short playtime, though, which is a sign that as Big East play begins he can be the play physical inside presence the Red Storm will need.
St. Johns returns to action Thursday at home against Monmouth.