Backcourt Brothers: Red Storm Defeat Minnesota in the NIT 70-61 Behind Harrison and Jordan

D'Angelo Harrison had 19 points for St. John's/nypost.com
By Josh Adams

The NIT Season Tip-off on Thanksgiving Eve at Madison Square Garden saw the St. John's Red Storm and the Minnesota Golden Gophers square off in the first round, followed by the "Battle of the Bulldogs" as Georgia took on Number 10 ranked Gonzaga in the nightcap. 

Minnesota and St. John's was a showcase in the first half for the Gophers freshman guard Nate Mason and the Red Storm's sophomore guard Rysheed Jordan. Both young players were the centerpiece for their respective teams offense with Jordan showing NBA quality moves in the open floor while Mason was lighting the scoreboard up from three point range. Mason ended the half going 4 for 5 from the field while scoring 13 points. Jordan had 12 points respectively for St. John's as the Gophers took a 40-31 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

The second half was a highlight reel for Sir-Dominic Pointer for St. John's. He had one of the best dunks of this early season with an emphatic put-down over Minnesota center Elliot Eliason and one of the nicer open court blocks you'll ever see rejecting Gophers guard Joey King's layup. St. John's was plagued by inconsistency in their backcourt early on in the second half, when Jordan suddenly went ice cold but senior guard D'Angelo Harrison found his stroke. Minnesota went frigid to start the second half which allowed the Red Storm to cut into the Gophers lead and keep the game close. The key sequence happened with 2:25 left in the 2nd half as Harrison saved the ball from going out of bounds on the offensive end, then was fouled and hit a three pointer.  Talking about the play, Harrison said, "I'm not sure if I make that play two years ago. I saved it and yelled "Sheed" to Rysheed to get the ball back. It was the second best play after the game after Dom's dunk." About Harrison and Jordan's chemistry, Harrison said, "It's better than ever. We worked together all summer." Jordan was again unavailable to the media and I was told by a St. John's official that it's team policy for him not to talk the media.

The win gave St. John's a 4-0 record while the Gophers fell to 3-2. 

Harrison and Jordan had 19 and 18 points respectively.  The Gophers Mason had 15 points and forward Carlos Morris had 11 points. The Gophers only shot 36% as a team from the field. 

The win might be one of the bigger in Steve Lavin's St. John's career, and one that will pad the Red Storm's resume for the NCAA Tournament. They will play the winner of Georgia and Gonzaga on Friday night. 


Big South Monday: East Tennessee Defeats Winthrop in a Thrilling Comeback 69-64

Lester Wilson/etsubucs.com
by Brian Wilmer

ROCK HILL, S.C. -- East Tennessee State coach Murry Bartow seemed skeptical coming into Winthrop Coliseum Monday night, despite the fact his team had scored 98 points in a Saturday victory over fellow Big South opponent UNC Asheville.


Veteran Leadership Helps Terps Coast Past Fordham 66-50

by Terry Cook

Maryland forward Michal Cekovsky (15) goes to the basket against Wagner's Stedman Allen (22) and Greg Senat (35) during the second half of an NCAA college basketball game, Friday, Nov. 14, 2014, in College Park, Md. Maryland won 82-48.
Michal Cekovsky/AP.com

Early season play continued at the Xfinity Center Thursday night, as the Fordham Rams lost to the Maryland Terrapins in a non-conference game, 66-50.  Fordham came into the game without its leading scoring threat, Eric Paschall, who was out with an irregular heartbeat.