Let’s start this off by saying a win is a win. It certainly wasn’t pretty, but there are a bunch of positives to take away from this one.
Greg Williams picked up the game right where he left off against Stony Brook, banging home a step back three on the Johnnies’ first possession of the game. While it seemed like that was going to be a sign of things to come, it was quite the opposite as the rest of the first half only went downhill from there.
After a shaky first half that saw the Johnnies headed to the locker-room down by a basket, things only got worse to start the second and St. John’s found themselves down by 11.
Then St. John’s began to show a little life.
The comeback was initially led by Marcellus Earlington and Julian Champagnie. Marcellus made his first six field goals of the night and reminded us why he deserves big minutes in important situations. He finished strong around the rim, converted an and-1 and hit an important three in the midst of St. John’s comeback. For Julian, things weren’t working out as well as they had been from beyond the arc, but he made tough plays in the paint all night. He finished with an 18-point double-double and recorded a game high three steals and blocked two shots.
Posh Alexander once again reaked havoc on the defensive side of the court and dished out 8 assists in this one. His game continues to impress me even though he isn’t scoring as much as he did in the opening few games.
Then it was Vince Cole time.
Vince Cole started his hot streak of scoring by hitting a big three point bucket to put an end to a 7-0 Rider run with 6:30 remaining in the game. From here on out he made big shot after big shot to will the Red Storm to victory. He nailed the dagger (see in “play of the game” section) to seal the deal tonight in Queens. He finished with a game high 26 points on 60% shooting.
Play of the Game
Up by one, 33 seconds left on the clock, Vince Cole rises to the occasion and bangs home the dagger. We had a bunch of flashy fast break plays throughout that ended in highlight slams that could’ve been the play of the game, but none were more important than this three from Vince Cole.
Players of the Game
SJU Barstool Player of the Game: Vince Cole
This one wasn’t even a debate. Vince Cole absolutely turned up down the stretch in this one to help St. John’s avoid an upset against Rider.
Vince Cole is a winner. When the game is on the line he wants the ball in his hands and he wants to be that dude taking the big shot. He scored 12 points in the final three minutes of this one. Vince is the knockdown shooter that we were missing a season ago and he is going to continue to be a key piece for us as we enter Big East play.
Stats: 26 PTS, 7 REB
Shoutout Nick Killmer for making us bread tonight. Make sure you stay tuned for all of Nick’s best bets before every game.