November 9, 2019 / 11:31 PM / 5 days ago

St. John’s crushes Central Conn. behind Heron’s 30

Mustapha Heron scored 30 points and host St. John’s pulled away in the opening minutes of the second half and posted an 87-57 victory over Central Connecticut on Saturday.

Heron followed up a 25-point showing in the season opener against Mercer by finishing one point shy of his career high set Nov. 24, 2017, against Winthrop when he played for Auburn. Heron shot 10 of 15, set a career high by hitting six 3-pointers and reached 1,500 points for his career.

LJ Figueroa added 17 points as the Red Storm (2-0) posted their second straight blowout win under new coach Mike Anderson. Figueroa shot 6 of 16 and hit three of his five 3-pointers in the decisive 20-0 run that put St. John’s ahead 57-36 with 15:08 left.

Freshman Julian Champagnie contributed 10 points and eight rebounds while Damien Sears pulled down 11 rebounds as St. John’s outscored Central Connecticut 48-24 after halftime. The Red Storm shot 44.7 percent (34 of 76) from the field, including 11 of 28 3-pointers, and led by as many 35.

Greg Outlaw led the Blue Devils with 11 points and was their only double-figure scorer. Central Connecticut shot 34 percent (18-of-53) and committed 21 turnovers.

Heron scored 11 of the Red Storm’s first 13 points and it appeared like St. John’s would cruise from the outset. The Blue Devils came back with a 14-4 run and took an 18-17 lead on a layup by Stephane Ayangma with 9 1/2 minutes left and tied the score at 24-24 on a 34-pointer by Zach Newkirk nearly four minutes later.

St. John’s answered with a 9-0 run in 80 seconds to take a 33-24 lead on a Figueroa 3-pointer with 4 1/2 minutes left and held a 39-33 lead by halftime. Central Connecticut scored on its first possession of the second half but went 6:17 without a basket by committing six turnovers and missing five straight shots as St. John’s surged ahead.

—Field Level Media

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