The St. John’s Men’s Basketball team will close out the non-conference portion of its schedule with a two-game homestand beginning on Sunday when the Johnnies host Stony Brook at 2:30 p.m. inside Carnesecca Arena.
The game will be broadcast live nationally on FS1 with John Fanta and Tarik Turner on the call. 970 AM WNYM will carry the game over the airwaves with John Minko and Brandon Tierney narrating the action from Queens. The Learfield-IMG College Red Storm Sports Network radio broadcast will also be available through TuneIn Radio, as well as SiriusXM channel 389 and streamed through channel 979.
The Red Storm (3-1) will look to bounce back from its first loss of the year, a six-point falter at the hands of BYU. The Cougars, who were picked second behind Gonzaga in the WCC preseason poll, connected on 10 3-pointers in the game at Mohegan Sun Arena. The Red Storm went just 4-for-21 from beyond the arc.
The loss came two days after the Red Storm’s marquee win of the season so far, as the Johnnies took down former BIG EAST foe, 97-93, on Monday. In that game, the Red Storm shot 52.9 percent from the field and scored 52 points in the paint.
Leading the way for the Red Storm at Mohegan Sun was Julian Champagnie. Making his sophomore debut after missing the first two games of the season with a right ankle sprain, Champagnie poured in a career-high 29 points in addition to pulling down 10 rebounds against the Eagles. Two days later, The Brooklyn native logged 25 points, five rebounds and three assists in the BYU loss. Dating back to last season, Champagnie, a BIG EAST All-Freshman Team selection in 2020, has scored 20 or more points in four of his last five games and is averaging 15.8 points over his last 12 outings.
Like Champagnie, Greg Williams Jr. has carried over the momentum from a strong 2019-20 finish into the new season. After averaging 3.1 points per game over his first 54 collegiate appearances, Williams poured in 12.8 points per game over the final five outings of 2019-20 and currently is tied for third on the team with 11.5 points per game this season. The Lafayette, La., native also ranks second on the team in minutes per game (30.0), assists per game (3.5) and steals per game (2.8). Williams and Champagnie were the only two St. John’s players to finish in double figures against both BC and BYU, as Williams posted 17 points and six assists against the Eagles before tallying 10 points and five steals against the Cougars.
After averaging 6.0 points per game at Mohegan Sun Arena, Vince Cole will look to regain his scoring touch inside the friendly confines of Carnesecca Arena. In his first two outings in Queens during the Lapchick Tournament, Cole averaged 20.0 points on 54.0 percent shooting and took home tournament MVP honors. In his St. John’s debut against Saint Peter’s, Cole netted 21 points, including five in the final 18 seconds, to help the Red Storm overcome a late deficit and escape with the win. The Charleston, S.C., native is one of two Johnnies that earned NJCAA All-America honors last season, as Cole was named to the first team and Isaih Moore, who is averaging 9.8 points and 6.3 rebounds per game, found a spot on the third team.
Two other St. John’s newcomers have quickly found their footing, as former high school teammates Posh Alexander and Dylan Addae-Wusu have played key roles in the team’s early season success. Alexander had a first half for the ages against BC, making all six of his field goal attempts and scoring 16 of his season-high 18 points in the opening stanza. On the year, Alexander is averaging 11.5 points per outing, good enough for third on the team, and leads the squad with 4.5 assists and 3.0 steals per game, the last of which leads the BIG EAST. Addae-Wusu has been remarkably consistent for a freshman, averaging 8.3 points on 57.9 percent shooting, including a 55.6 percent effort (5-of-9) from beyond the arc. Through games played on Thursday, Addae-Wusu leads the BIG EAST in 3-point percentage among players with at least nine attempts.
Stony Brook lost its season opener to Saint Peter’s, 82-68, on Tuesday evening in Jersey City. The Seawolves, in their second year under Head Coach Geno Ford, had their first two games of the season against Bryant and Sacred Heart canceled due to COVID concerns.
Three Seawolves finished in double figures against the Peacocks, led by Frankie Policelli’s 16 points. As a team, Stony Brook turned the ball over 22 times.
Stony Brook will play once more before making the trip to Queens, hosting Fairfield in its home opener on Friday at 4 p.m.
St. John’s and Stony Brook have met eight times since the Seawolves rose to the Division I ranks. The Johnnies are a perfect 8-0 in the series history, including a 6-0 mark in games played at Carnesecca Arena. The last meeting between the two teams was in December of 2009, a 63-55 win for the Red Storm.
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