LJ Figueroa tied a career high with 25 points as St. John’s heated up in the second half to beat New Hampshire 74-61 on Monday night in New York.
Figueroa, a junior wing, also had eight rebounds, five steals and three assists for the Red Storm, making up for an off night for leading scorer Mustapha Heron.
St. John’s (3-0) used a 13-2 run to end the first half up 36-34, with sophomore forward Marcellus Earlington’s put-back with 1.7 seconds left giving the Red Storm its first lead since the opening three minutes.
New Hampshire (2-1) didn’t score over the final 2:44 of the first half, a drought that lasted almost a minute into the second half before sophomore forward Nick Guadarrama had layups on back-to-back possessions for a 38-36 lead.
Heron, a senior guard who averaged 27.5 points in the Red Storm’s first two games, missed all five first-half shots and didn’t get into the scoring column until recording a three-point play with 18:01 left. He finished with five points (on 2-of-12 shooting) with five assists.
Heron’s first basket triggered a 15-3 St. John’s run for a 53-43 lead after redshirt sophomore wing David Caraher drained a trey with 12:01 left.
The Wildcats, who made seven of their first 10 3-point tries, missed their next 10 from deep and finished 8 of 24. They went more than five minutes without a field goal at one point, but Guadarrama’s 3-pointer with 6:39 left got them within 57-54.
St. John’s responded with a 12-0 run for a 69-54 edge with 4:36 remaining. The last five points came from freshman forward Julian Champagnie, who finished with 11 points on 5-of-7 shooting and added nine rebounds.
New Hampshire got 14 points from senior guard Mark Carbone and 12 apiece from senior forward Chris Lester and junior guard Sean Sutherlin.
—Field Level Media