The St. John’s men’s basketball team jumped out to an early lead and never looked back on Saturday in Carnesecca Arena, cruising to a 91-70 over Saint Peter’s.
“It was a good energy game,” said coach Mike Anderson. “When you get a lead like that, you always worry about the letdown. We saw some of that, but overall I thought our guys played together.
St. John’s improved to 2-0 with the win while Saint Peter’s, who was picked to finish second in the MAAC and lost by just three points in a hostile environment at VCU on Tuesday, fell to 0-2.
Junior wing Julian Champagnie eclipsed the 20-point plateau for the second time in as many opportunities this season, posting 22 points on 6-of-13 shooting, including a 5-for-10 showing from deep.
The Brooklyn native and 2021 First Team All-Big East selection also went a perfect 5-for-5 from the charity stripe.
Graduate transfer Tareq Coburn tallied 17 points on 5-of-7 shooting, including a second straight 3-for-5 showing from beyond the arc. Midway through the second half, the Queens native recorded his 1,000th collegiate point on a midrange jumper.
Coburn sank 170 3-pointers in three years at Hofstra.
Posh Alexander narrowly missed a double-double, scoring 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting and matching a career high with nine assists.
The reigning Big East Freshman and Defensive Player of the Year sank two of his four long-range tries after going 4-for-5 from deep in the season opener.
“He’s a guy who passes the rock and does it extremely well, as you can see he had nine assists today,” Champagnie said of Alexander. “Our expectations for Posh are super high, we expect him to perform like that and he always does.”
Purdue transfer Aaron Wheeler reached double figures for the first time as a Johnnie, posting 11 points and seven boards in 18 minutes of action.
Joel Soriano finished with eight points, five boards and four blocks while Montez Mathis tallied seven points, six rebounds and five assists. Soriano’s four rejections matched a career high for the Fordham transfer.
“The pace here is definitely different,” he said. “We are a run-and-gun team, we play fast and press a lot. The pace has been the biggest difference and I like to get out and run.”
Freshman O’Mar Stanley scored six points on a 3-for-3 effort from the floor. He is now a perfect 10-for-10 from the field in his first two games as a Johnnie.
As a team, St. John’s shot 50.8 percent from the floor and converted on 13 of their 29 attempts from long range (44.8 percent). The Red Storm also topped the 80 percent mark from the free throw line for the second straight game, going 18-for-22 from the charity stripe.
St. John’s was scheduled to go on the road for the first time, traveling to Bloomington for a Wednesday matchup with the Indiana Hoosiers.