Milestone win for Anderson brings Men’s Basketball closer to NCAA Tournament



Mike Anderson started his head coaching career in 2002 with the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Now, he is finishing up his 19th career season and second season coaching the St. John’s Men’s Basketball team. As he walked out onto the court of Carnesecca Arena on Feb. 16, Anderson faced not only a big matchup for the team, but also a personal milestone – the chance to win his 400th career game. 

This milestone was reached as St. John’s beat Xavier 93-84, holding the lead throughout the majority of the game and ending the night with five players in double figures. 

“It was a special moment with this team,” Anderson said during a post-game press conference, “and I think about all of the other teams that I have had, as well as the coaches and administration that took a chance on me as a head coach.”

Not only was this win a personal milestone for Anderson, but it also broke a losing-streak with Xavier. The Red Storm rolled over the Musketeers on Tuesday night, securing their first win against them since 2015. 

Xavier Head Coach Travis Steele said in a pre-game press conference that St. John’s “is the hottest team” in the Big East. The Johnnies brought a storm to Queens on Tuesday night, and their win made them even hotter. 

Just three minutes into the game, St. John’s held a 9-4 lead. After letting up a Musketeer offensive run, they did not let their opponent see a lead larger than five points for the rest of the game. After 10 minutes of play, junior Greg Williams put down a lay up that carried the team’s lead throughout the rest of the matchup.  

Securing the lead, the Red Storm saw impressive play from junior Marcellus Earlington, sophomore Julian Champagnie, freshman Isaih Moore and senior Rasheem Dunn.

“We had a lot of guys that stepped up for us tonight,” Anderson said in the press conference.  

Earlington played one of his best games yet, registering 16 points and nine rebounds. Champagnie, the leading scorer in the Big East, secured 21 points and five rebounds. Moore, who has become known for his dunks, netted four against the Musketeers and finished the game with 11 points. Dunn tied his season-high in points with 17, just as he had done in the last matchup against Xavier. 

Freshman Posh Alexander finished the game with 15 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, which almost brought him to become the first player since Ron Artest in 1999 to earn a triple-double. 

“Posh was great today,” Earlington said during the press conference. “He is a dog, fighting for loose balls, making the right play, he is really confident, we play through him. We tell him that he is the energy bug–wherever he goes, we go.”

Earlington and the team partook in the joy for Anderson on his 400th victory. 

“It means a lot,” Earlington said. “He is a hard-working coach, he is on us every day. He has a winning mentality and we just came out here today and really wanted to get him his 400th win. We are very proud of him.”

Anderson has a lot to celebrate as his 400th victory brought St. John’s even closer to securing a seed in the NCAA Tournament; however, he understands there is more work ahead. 

“It is over at midnight, [we] get a chance to celebrate and then we turn our attention to DePaul,” Anderson said.