If ever a team could be forgiven for getting off to a slow start in its season opener, it’s this year’s St. John’s squad: Only one player who saw minutes last night, Malik Stith, played for the school last year. Everyone else came in as part of Steve Lavin’s much-heralded recruiting class — the one meant to replace the seniors who last year led the school to the NCAA tournament. And so last night, the young Johnnies found themselves down 33-26 at halftime to William & Mary in an opening round game of the 2K Sports Classic. But they got into their groove in the second half, pressuring the Tribe into twelve second-half turnovers while themselves shooting nearly 68 percent from the field in the half. Nurideen Lindsey scored seventeen of his team-high nineteen points in the second half, and St. John’s outscored William & Mary 48-26 after halftime en route to a 74-59 victory. St. John’s next plays Lehigh tomorrow night at Carnesecca Arena. [NYDN, RedStormSports.com]
Malik Stith, from last season.