Johnnies Stumble Against Murray State

After another quick start down in Charleston, the St. John’s men’s basketball team couldn’t keep momentum and fell to Murray State 72-67 in the semi-final round of the tournament.

Momentum started to shift before the half as the Racers went on a 13-3 run to cut the Red Storm’s lead to three.

The second half saw a back and forth event that got away from the Johnnies late in the game, partly due to three point attempts that started to fall for Stacy Wilson from the corner during a 12-0 Murray State run. Wilson finished with 23 points.

“It was a punch-counterpunch game, where we threw a punch and they threw a punch,” head coach Steve Lavin told reporters. “We’re still growing, we’re still learning. We’re still learning. We knew this would be a process with our young guys, but I love our team. I wouldn’t trade our players for anybody’s.”

Sophomore D’Angelo Harrison once again led the team in scoring, this time with 27 points. He also added a team high nine rebounds in his second appearance in the starting five after coming off the bench in the first two games due to disciplinary reasons.

Freshman JaKarr Sampson added 14 points and seven rebounds of his own, while freshman Chris Obekpa notched seven blocks. No other player reached double digits in scoring.

Junior Marco Bourgault, whose NCAA clearing was first reported by The Torch this morning, made his St. John’s debut. He played five minutes and didn’t tally a point. Freshman Felix Balamou, seeing his first major minutes of the year, contributed six points.

While the Red Storm have been eliminated from the winner’s bracket of the tournament, they will play one more game before returning home. They take on Baylor, who lost to Colorado earlier today, at 6:00 pm this Sunday.

“We’ll learn from this one and get ready for Baylor,” Lavin told reporters.