Junior guard Mustapha Heron scored 27 points, and sophomore guard LJ Figueroa had 23 as St. John’s cruised to an 84-65 win over Rutgers on Friday night in Piscataway, N.J.
Redshirt senior forward Marvin Clark II chipped in with 12 points, and redshirt junior Justin Simon added 10 points and nine rebounds as the Red Storm (3-0) routed their former Big East rival in the Gavitt Tipoff Games.
St. John’s used a 14-4 run over the final four minutes of the first half to enter intermission with a 38-27 advantage. The Red Storm didn’t let up in the second half, shooting 56.3 percent from beyond the arc after the break to outscore the Scarlet Knights 46-38.
Junior forward Issa Thiam scored 13 points, and junior forward Eugene Omoruyi added 12 points and seven rebounds for Rutgers (2-1), which trailed by as many as 25 points in the second half and led for just 18 seconds total in the game, a 2-0 lead that quickly evaporated into a 9-2 deficit.
St. John’s entered the game with 16 3-pointers made through its first two games. The Red Storm drained that many against Rutgers, connecting on 16 for 32 (50 percent) from beyond the arc.
Rutgers, which made a Big Ten-high 26 3-pointers while connecting on 56.5 percent from 3-point range through its 2-0 start, connected on 26.9 percent (7-for-26) from behind the arc against St. John’s.
The Red Storm were outrebounded (42-39) but dished 19 assists on 28 baskets, compared to 12 on 22 for the Scarlet Knights. Junior guard Shamorie Ponds had a game-high six helpers, while Figueroa — who also had a game-high 11 rebounds — chipped in four assists.
—Field Level Media