Elmont, NY – The St John Red Storm hosted the Kansas Jayhawks Friday night at UBS Arena as they looking to push their win streak to four against a tough opponent. It was a rough game for St John’s as their only lead was after making the first basket of the game. They were down 13 (43-30) at halftime, Then the Red Storm seized control of the momentum and cut the lead to three points (64-61) as forward Julian Champagnie, came out in the second half on fire scoring 17 of his 24 points. Kansas would respond with an 11-0 run, and cruised to a 95-75 victory, handing St John’s their second loss of the season. The Jayhawks received a strong performance from 6’7 junior guard Christian Braun as he scored 31 points on 10-of-16 shooting (62.5%) 2-of-4 from deep, and 9-of-10 from the foul line.
Dylan Addae-Wusu scored 16 points on 4-of-7 shooting, 2-of-5 from three and 6-of-7 (85%) on free throws. Off the bench he helped his team with his aggressive play getting two steals, and attacking the paint, but later fouled out. He took good care of the ball, only committing one turnover to his four assists. He looked comfortable all night making plays for himself and his teammates, especially with the shot clock running down. Posh Alexander played 33 minutes, scored 16 points going 6-of-9 (66.7%), knocking down 1-of-3 from three and a modest 3-of-5 from the line. Posh came up hobbling a few times in the second half with an apparent leg injury but was able to finish the game out. He did receive a technical foul along with the head coach Mike Anderson with 3:45 left to go in the game arguing on what they felt should have been a goal tend when Champagnie drove for a lay-up and was rejected from behind.
The St John’s offense came out the gate slow, finding themselves down 13-2 going 1-of-7 (14.2%), 0-of-3 from deep and committing three turnovers in the first four minutes of the game. The best stretch of offense they had was to start the second quarter shooting 10-of-14 (71%) from the field, 7-of-9 from three, and a perfect 4-of-4 from the line with two steals. Alexander started it off by hitting a three from a pass by Addae-Wusu. That was followed by a steal from Montez Mathis, who then scored on a lay-up assisted again by Addae-Wusu. Also, during this stretch Champagnie went 5-of-5 from three and 2-of-2 from the line. They were clicking on all cylinders, then fouls and bad looks began to pile up. They had trouble blocking out 6’10 forward David McCormack who grabbed eight offensive boards for his team and ended the night with 13 rebounds overall.
The Red Storm shot 41.7 percent (10-of-24) and struggled from the three-point line in the first half shooting 20 percent (2-of-10). They also struggled from the line going 8-of-14 (57.1%) and ended the game shooting 61.5 percent (16-of-26) from the line on the night. St John’s struggled on the glass, getting out-rebounded 47-29, giving up 19 offensive rebounds for 24 second chance points. At times the offense looked very stagnant and perimeter oriented. The team struggled with taking care of the ball, committing 17 turnovers to their 12 assists on the night. Fouls (24) were also detrimental to slowing the offense and flow of the game for St John’s, forcing them to play against a set defense and not get out in transition with only 14 fast break points.
The Red Storm (5-2, 0-0) will look to bounce back Sunday night when they host Fordham (6-3, 0-1). The Jayhawks (6-1, 0-0) will return home on Tuesday, to face off against the UTEP Miners (4-4, 0-0).