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Against CCSU, St. John’s looks for growth

Sportsnaut
Nov 12, 2022; Queens, New York, USA;  St. John's Red Storm center Joel Soriano (11) posts up against Lafayette Leopards forward Leo O'Boyle (33) in the second half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

St. John’s has won its first two games of the season but those wins still showed coach Mike Anderson and his players there are some areas to improve on.

The Red Storm hope to put together a complete showing Tuesday night when they host Central Connecticut State in Queens, N.Y.

After St. John’s (2-0) survived committing 29 turnovers in a 97-72 win over Merrimack on Nov. 7, the Red Storm struggled to put away Lafayette for most of the game Saturday before earning an 83-68 win. St. John’s reduced its turnovers to 10, and made a robust 51.9 percent of its shots, but in the first half watched Lafayette sink 47 percent from behind the arc (8-for-17).

“We were just lackadaisical I would say, or we would be late on rotations,” St. John’s guard Dylan Addae-Wusu said. “But we amped it up in the second half and it was hard for them to get shots up.”

Lafayette trailed by only two at halftime, but in the second half, the Leopards’ 3-point shooting slipped to 6-for-18 (33%) as St. John’s was able to pull away.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Anderson said.

So far, the most consistent performer for St. John’s is David Jones, who has led the team in scoring each game. The DePaul transfer opened with 21 points and 10 rebounds and then scored 16 of his 20 in the first half Saturday before Joel Soriano scored all 13 of his points after halftime.

Central Connecticut (0-2) opened the season with 94-67 loss at Massachusetts last week and turned in a better showing Sunday in a 72-70 loss to visiting Quinnipiac. The Blue Devils shot 36.5 percent from the floor and were outscored 46-37 in the second half, while allowing 45.6 percent from the floor after giving up 53.5 percent to UMass.

The Blue Devils are led by Kellen Amos, who averages 18.5 points per game.

St. John’s is 3-0 all-time against Central Connecticut. The teams are meeting for the first time since the Red Storm cruised to an 87-57 win in Nov. 2019.

–Field Level Media