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St. John’s dominates second half to best Lafayette

Nov 15, 2022; Queens, New York, USA;  Lafayette Leopards forward Kyle Jenkins (14) and St. John's Red Storm guard Andre Curbelo (3) battle for a rebound in the first half at Carnesecca Arena. Mandatory Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Wendell Cruz-USA TODAY Sports

David Jones scored 20 points as St. John’s survived a shaky first half and pulled away down the stretch for an 83-68 victory over Lafayette Saturday afternoon in Queens, N.Y.

Jones made 7 of 14 shots for his second straight 20-point game with St. John’s (2-0) after transferring from DePaul.

Dylan Addae-Wusu added 14 points and hit four of the Red Storm’s 10 3-pointers. Joel Soriano added all 13 of his points in the second half when St. John’s outscored Lafayette 49-36.

Andre Curbelo contributed 10 points and six assists as St. John’s shot 65.4 percent in the second half and 51.9 percent overall, and Posh Alexander also handed out six assists while being held to six points.

T.J. Berger scored a career-high 17 points for Lafayette (0-2), which was picked to finish last in the Patriot League. Josh Rivera also scored 17 but was the only Leopard to go to the foul line. He missed 5 of 9 attempts at the stripe.

Leo O’Boyle added 14 points for the Leopards, who shot 42.4 percent and made 14 3-point tries in the first meeting between the schools since 1997.

After Lafayette made its first three shots — all from behind the arc — St. John’s ripped off 12 straight points and held a 16-9 lead on a three-point play by Jones with 13:29 left in the first. Lafayette made six straight shots and took a 30-29 lead on CJ Fulton’s 3-pointer with 5:08 left, and St. John’s held a 34-32 lead by halftime after not getting a field goal for the final 4:30.

Rivera’s dunk forged a 37-37 deadlock with 18:03 remaining and Lafayette was within 50-47 on a 3-pointer by Justin Vander Baan with 13:21 left. St John’s ripped off a 13-0 run and opened a 63-47 lead on A.J. Storr’s 3-pointer with 10:02 to go.

St. John’s finished it off when Curbelo intercepted C.J. Fulton’s pass and Alexander found Jones for a two-handed dunk to make it 74-62 with 3:06 remaining.

–Field Level Media