The St. John’s men’s basketball team opened exhibition play on Wednesday night, soaring past Adelphi, 85-55, inside Carnesecca Arena.
Six St. John’s players finished in double figures. Freshman guard AJ Storr led the way with 13 points on 5-of-9 shooting, including a 2-for-3 showing from beyond the arc.
A trio of St. John’s scorers tallied 12 points apiece. Joel Soriano and O’Mar Stanley both shot 6-of-7 from the floor while Andre Curbelo posted his dozen points on an efficient 6-of-9 effort.
David Jones and Montez Mathis logged 10 points apiece. Jones added a team-high eight rebounds in just 17 minutes of action.
Despite logging just 10 minutes, freshman Mohamed Keita also grabbed eight boards. The 7-foot-1 center from Conakry, Guinea, also blocked three shots for the Red Storm.
Posh Alexander dished out a game-high 10 assists in 25 minutes of playing time. Dylan Addae-Wusu finished with seven points, four boards and three helpers.
As a team, St. John’s shot 51.4 percent from the floor and 41.2 percent (7-of-17) from three-point range. The Johnnies assisted on 23 of their 37 made baskets and committed just nine turnovers.
The Panthers hung close for a majority of the first half, scoring six straight to tie the contest at 19 with just under six minutes remaining. From there, St. John’s rattled 17 unanswered over the next four and a half minutes to blow the game open. Soriano scored 10 of those 17 points for the Red Storm.
Leading by 15 at the break, St. John’s began the second stanza with a 15-2 run to break open the game. The Red Storm climbed ahead by as many as 36 in the second half.
St. John’s will play its second and final exhibition contest of the preseason on Saturday night against Southern New Hampshire University at Carnesecca Arena. Tip-off is set for 6 p.m
St. John’s Head Coach Mike Anderson
“It was good to have an opportunity to play somebody other than ourselves, so we can get some obvious feedback in terms of things we need to work on. We got guys playing time in a game with officials and fans in the stands, so you can see how they react. We’re a work in progress; we know that. I thought we came out a little off-kilter and nerves were going. You have to give Adelphi a lot of credit. They came in and played with a lot of energy. They made some shots early on. I thought, eventually, our defense took over the game and enabled us to get into some offense and get balanced scoring. That’s what I’m looking for from this team, a team that’s going to be balanced in scoring. I keep talking about our defense; that’s got to be the difference. Tonight, we had 34 deflections, and our goal is 40 in a game. We did what we were supposed to do.”
On Posh Alexander and Andre Curbelo on the floor together…
“They’re basketball players and they’re teammates. I think they both bring a lot to the table, and I think we saw it defensively. It has the making of a pretty good backcourt.”
On the depth of the team…
“We have eight, maybe nine, starters. It’s about the minutes that you get. We saw Montez [Mathis] come in, and in the first half, he was one of the guys that ignited our defense, hustling and grabbing loose balls. He’s a fifth-year guy, so I expect a little bit more out of him. It’s on to the next.”
On Rafael Pinzon…
“He started off pretty good, and then he got that ankle injury. He bounced back and got back out there and played. That’s the moxie I see in him. He wants to be out on the floor; he wants to help the team. As you can see, he brings a lot to the table.”
Junior guard Posh Alexander
On dishing out 10 assists in the exhibition win over Adelphi…
“I was just trying to get team involved. That was my biggest thing coming in, I wasn’t trying to come out here and worry about scoring. I was just trying to get everyone involved, that makes me excited, my teammates excited and gets the crowd excited.”
On playing with teammate Andre Curbelo…
“It was good. When he had the ball, I’d run up the court and when I had the ball he ran up the court. Playing with him again today, continuing to build that chemistry.”
Senior center Joel Soriano
On how he feels about his confidence level heading into the season…
“It’s as high as it could ever be. Just have to continue to work and continue to be humble.”
On competing against Mohamed Keita in practice …
“He definitely gives us another look, not just for me, but for our guards when they are finishing lay-up’s. He definitely alters a lot of my shots. It’s great to have him, especially how he [played today], you saw what he did in such little time. I credit him, he gets me better every day.”
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