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st. john's red storm

Steve Lavin Rests As His Johnnies Cruise

DENVER, CO - MARCH 17:  Head coach Steve Lavin of the St. John's Red Storm gestures from the bench against the Gonzaga Bulldogs during the second round of the 2011 NCAA men's basketball tournament at Pepsi Center on March 17, 2011 in Denver, Colorado.  (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Steve Lavin

St. John's coach Steve Lavin, who underwent prostate cancer surgery last month, missed the team's first regular-season game of the year before returning to the bench two weeks ago. But Lavin's stamina isn't all the way back quite yet, and so after coaching games on back-to-back days last week, and then spending two days on the road recruiting, he informed school officials three hours before tip-off last night that he'd miss the Red Storm's game against St. Francis at Carnesecca Arena. His team, however, cruised in his absence against a Terriers squad that made just one field goal in the first eleven minutes. D'Angelo Harrison came off the bench to lead the Johnnies with 21 points, including 4-for-5 shooting from beyond the arc, and the 63-48 victory improves the Red Storm's record to 4-2.  St. John's next plays Northeastern on Saturday before traveling to Lexington for one of their toughest games of the year, against second-ranked Kentucky. [NYDN]

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Photo: Doug Pensinger/2011 Getty Images