St. John’s Storms Back to Beat William & Mary
It took one of the nation’s least experienced teams 20 minutes to start looking like a team of veterans.
Nurideen Lindsey scored 17 of his 19 points in the second half to lead St. John’s to a 74-59 victory over William & Mary in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
The Red Storm had only one player back from last season’s team that went 21-12 and made the NCAA tournament for the first time since 2002. It looked that
way as William & Mary took a 33-26 halftime lead.
St. John’s shot just 32.3 percent from the field (10-for-31), including making only 2-of-9 from 3-point range in the first half, and forced nine turnovers, a staple of the pressure defense that allows the Red Storm to take advantage of its speed and athleticism.
The stats were decidedly different in the second half as the Red Storm forced 12 turnovers – and turned them into 21 points – and shot 67.9 percent (19-of-28) from the field.
“I think in the first half the guys came out a little tight. We were definitely excited about the game but we weren’t ready to play,” said Lindsey, one of the six newcomers on the roster. “In the second half we turned it up a notch and got more intense.”
God’sgift Achiuwa and Moe Harkless both added 17 points for the Red Storm, who were without head coach Steve Lavin, who is recovering from prostate cancer surgery on Oct. 6.
Quinn McDowell had 20 points for William & Mary, which made seven 3-pointers in taking the seven-point halftime lead.
McDowell scored to open the second half for a nine-point lead but the Red Storm went on a 22-5 run that saw St. John’s make 10-of-14 shots, all but two from inside. Sir’Dominic Pointer’s three gave St. John’s a 48-40 lead.
Tickets for the Championship Rounds of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coach vs. Cancer at Madison Square Garden can be purchased by calling 866-448-7849 or at ticketmaster.com.