As the St. John’s men’s basketball team continued their centennial season, a holiday tournament awaited the Red Storm in Hawaii. The Johnnies finished 1-2 in the 44th Annual Outrigger Hotels Rainbow Classic as it’s recor dropped to 5-4 on the season.
Both Anthony Mason, Jr. and Rob Thomas returned from injury against Ohio, combining for 22 minutes and six points between them.
Round one of the tournament would result in a close loss for the Red Storm, 69-71. Ohioh,led by forward Leon Williams, defeated St. John’s in the closing seconds of the game. Williams finished with a double-double with 24 points and 10 rebounds. It was his buzzer beater that put the Red Storm away following a three pointer by St. John’s Eugene Lawrence.
Lawrence finished with three assists and 16 points, 11 of the points coming in the closing two minutes of the game. Freshman D.J. Kennedy contributed a team high 17 points and fellow freshman Justin Burrell tallied seven points and seven rebounds.
Out-rebounding the Red Storm 33-26 helped the Bobcats gain the extra possessions they needed to come away with the victory.
Day two of the St. John’s basketball team visit to Hawaii was more successful, as the Red Storm defeated host Hawaii Warriors 68-62. The team’s lone victory was made eventful by allowing an early 10-point lead to diminish.
Leading the way for the Red Storm was Anthony Mason Jr. with 17 points. The junior scored his highest point total of the season after returning from two high ankle sprains injury earlier in the year. Co-captain Eugene Lawrence moved into fourth on St. John’s all-time assists leaders with his 451st feed, placing Lawrence above Chris Mullin in the record books for assists.
Capping off their five day trip to Hawaii, the Red Storm met the Tulane Green Wave (8-4) for their final game in the Aloha state. Tulane’s Kevin Smith and Robinson Louisme helped the Green Wave clinch fifth place by beating the Red Storm 79-71.
Sims and Louisme each contributed 21 points, 11 of Sims points came off his 15 appearances at the free throw line. Defensive aggression helped the Green Wave yield a St. John’s 25.7 field goal percentage in the second half.
Despite the loss, Mason, Jr. scored a team high 18 points followed by Freshman Paris Horne who contributed 11 points off of the bench. Neither were enough to counter a 47-33 rout in the final 20 minutes by Hawaii.