by David Cassilo / @dcassilo
For the first time since the Dallas Mavericks won the title back in June a pro or college basketball game was played on Monday night. Using a 48-point second half, St. John’s rallied from behind to knock off William & Mary, 74-59.
A year after making its first NCAA tournament since 2002, St. John’s returned just one player, Malik Stith, who actually scored last season. But the freshmen-heavy Red Storm were able to get the job done against the Tribe.
St. John’s trailed by seven points at the break, but leading the comeback with 19 points was Nurideen Lindsey, a junior college transfer from Oklahoma who scored 15 of those points in the second half. Freshmen Maurice Harkless and D’Angelo Harrison and junior college transfer God’s Gift Achiuwa also all notched double-figures in their first game with the Red Storm.
Head Coach Steve Lavin, who successfully turned the program around last season, had to watch the season opener from home as he is still recovering from prostate cancer surgery. Former Purdue Head Coach Gene Keady took over in his absence.
From The New York Times:
“They’ve been fun to coach,” said Gene Keady, Lavin’s special assistant/adviser. “As a young team, I’ve been really impressed with their togetherness.”