W&M FALLS 74-59 TO ST. JOHN'S IN MEN'S BASKETBALL OPENER
Queens, N.Y. - The William and Mary men's basketball team led by nine early in the second half, but the St. John's pressure over the final 20 minutes sent the Red Storm to a 74-59 victory in the opening game of the college basketball season at the Carnesecca Arena on Monday night. The College took a 33-26 advantage into the locker room and scored the opening points of the second half, before St. John's turned up its pressure to generate 28 points off W&M turnovers to pull out the victory in the opening round of the 2K Sports Classic benefiting Coaches vs. Cancer.
Senior forward Quinn McDowell led all scorers with 20 points on 8-of-13 from the floor and 4-of-8 from 3-point range. He also added a team-high eight rebounds as the Tribe outrebounded the Red Storm, 35-29. Sophomore guard Julian Boatner connected on four 3-pointers and finished with 12 points, while junior guard Matt Rum and senior Kendrix Brown finished with seven and six points, respectively. Brown and Rum also led the Tribe with four assists each.
Midway through the first half, the Tribe broke open a 16-all deadlock with an 11-4 run. The College connected on a trio of 3-pointers over the stretch and McDowell led the way with eight of the Green and Gold's 11 points. After back-to-back 3-pointers by McDowell and sophomore guard Brandon Britt, McDowell canned another triple and then hit a long jumper to extend the Tribe cushion to 27-20 with 5:56 remaining in the opening half.
St. John's answered with four straight points to pull within three, before the Tribe lead reached its largest with another pair of 3-pointers. Boatner answered immediately with a long-range bomb, before freshman Marcus Thornton hit the first triple of his collegiate career to give the College a 33-24 advantage with 1:42 left in the first half. Leading 33-26 at the intermission, W&M hit seven first-half 3-pointers and shot 44.4 percent from the floor, while holding St. John's to just 32.3 percent from the floor.
The Tribe lead reached nine points again on a McDowell jumper less than a minute into the second half, before the Red Storm ratcheted up the defensive pressure. Nurideen Lindsey sparked at 15-2 run for the Johnnies, scoring eight points and assisting on anther Red Storm bucket. His fastbreak lay-up at the 15:01 mark gave St. John's a 41-37 lead.
A Boatner 3-pointer from the right corner pulled the Tribe back within one, but St. John's responded with a 16-3 run to put the game out of reach. Six different Red Storm players scored on the run led by five from God'sgrift Achiuwa. Moe Harkless capped the spurt with a steal and fastbreak lay-up to put the Red Strom on top, 57-43, with 9:30 remaining. In total, St. John's outscored the Tribe, 31-10, in the opening 10:30 of the second half. W&M could get no closer than 11 points the rest of the way.
For the game, W&M shot 45.8 percent (22-of-48) from the floor and 34.4 percent from 3-point range, while hitting on 11 3-pointers. The Red Storm finished 49.2 percent (29-of-59) from the floor, but hit on 67.9 percent (19-of-28) of its shots in the second half. Lindsey led St. John's with 19 points, while Achiuwa and Harkless had 17 points apiece to go along with nine and eight rebounds, respectively.