Red Storm rolls on with third consecutive win in one week


TORCH PHOTO / Brenden Willisch

On Wednesday Jan. 27, the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team faced Big East opponent DePaul in Chicago. Going into this game, the Blue Demons were coming off a hot win against Marquette while the Red Storm just came off a strong performance versus Utah Valley. 

In the paint

The game didn’t start off on the best foot for the Johnnies. The Red Storm began the matchup by fouling the DePaul offense in the first 16 seconds; however, the rough start was quickly forgotten when Posh Alexander returned DePaul’s early basket with a three-pointer for the Red Storm. Regardless of  St. John’s early domination from deep, the Blue Demons were unstoppable in the paint. With this challenge, the Red Storm was able to utilize their bench players – most notably, Isaih Moore.  

“Isaih was big for us,” Head Coach Mike Anderson said in the press conference following the game. Moore was finishing plays, adding numbers to the board and even saw himself dunking over his opponents to score eight early points off the bench. “When you have got a guy of that caliber coming off the bench, and when he is playing well, that is even more important for our basketball team,” Anderson continued.

Freshman guard Dylan Addae-Wusu showed St. John’s Men’s Basketball fans his potential after scoring six points off of two offensive rebounds midway through the first half. Amid the young freshman’s show, sophomore Julian Champagnie exited the game with an apparent ankle injury. Gaining traction without Champagnie on the court, DePaul cut the Red Storm’s lead to only eight with five minutes left in the half. That relief for the Blue Demons didn’t last long as Champagnie returned, responding with a three-point basket.

“[Champagnie] came out of halftime after having to go and get taped-up, but showed the warrior mentality that you have to play with, so I was proud of him and his leadership,” Anderson said after the game. “For him to do that and come back out, it says a lot to the other guys on our basketball team.” 

The Red Storm led at halftime by a score of 49 to 34.

The breakdown

In the first minute of the second half, the St. John’s defense was caught sleeping as Charlie Moore of the Blue Demons made a wide open three-pointer. The Red Storm got off to a slow start in the second half as DePaul cut the deficit to 10 points in the first few minutes.

Moore put another dunk on the board after receiving a clean pass from Alexander off of a Blue Demons turnover. 

DePaul increased their defensive pressure and used that to their advantage to reduce the Johnnies lead to seven, with just under seven minutes left in the game. Four turnovers in as many minutes by St. John’s quickly hurt them, as DePaul made it a two-possession game. 

However, as the clock was winding down, senior Rasheem Dunn netted four shots to secure the Red Storm lead. 

The late-night matchup concluded with a final score of 81 to 68, giving St. John’s its third straight win, and their fourth win of their last five against the Blue Demons. 

Key players

Former All-American Vince Cole was a standout player this game, scoring 18 points in 34 minutes and hitting many personal records. The junior made seven of his 16 attempts from the floor and three of eight from beyond the arc. 

“I just bring everything I can to the table every day, play hard and bring my best to the team,” Cole said during a post-game press conference.

Four Johnnies put up double digit points: Cole with 18, Champagnie with 16, Posh with 15 and Moore with 15.

The Johnnies have now risen to a 10-7 record in the season and 4-6 in Big East play, a step closer to maintaining Coach Mike Anderson’s streak of consecutive winning seasons.